UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

How have youth experienced trying to get off the street : what has helped and hindered Brown, Tracy L.


The experience of how youth get off the street is scarcely documented. The present study explored what helped and hindered youth in their experience as they tried to get off the street and addressed the following research question: “How have youth experienced trying to get off the street: what has helped and hindered?” Twenty youth, aged 19-24 years of age, living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who have spent time living on the street were interviewed using Flanagan’s (1954) Critical Incident Technique. The qualitative analysis of the interviews identified 259 critical incidents, forming nine helping categories and six hindering categories when youth tried to leave the streets. The nine helping categories included: (1) Taking Responsibility, (2) Engaging in Constructive Activities, (3) Friends and Family Support, (4) Changing Drug and Alcohol Use, (5) Support from Professional Organizations, (6) Disillusionment of Street Life, (7) Dreams and Hope for a Different Future, (8) Income Assistance and (9) Leaving Negative Influences Behind. The six hindering categories were: (1) Drugs and Alcohol, (2) Emotional Struggles, (3) Lack of Support, (4) Enjoyment of Homelessness, (5) Limited Formal Education, Life Skills and Employment and (6) Income Assistance Difficulties. The results from this study are discussed in relation to implications for theory, practice and future research.

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