Living on the streets in Canada: a feminist narrative study of girls and young women

Shyanne Reid, Helene Berman, Cheryl Forchuk
Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 2005, 28 (4): 237-56
Homelessness affects thousands of girls and young women in Canada. Terms that are commonly used to describe the homeless include lazy, mentally ill, middle aged, and male. The reality is that homelessness is not limited to a particular age, gender, or ethnocultural group, or to individuals of any single intellectual ranking. As a result of the prevailing stereotypes, little research has been conducted on homelessness among adolescent females, making it difficult to capture an accurate and comprehensive picture of the full scope of the problem. The purposes of this feminist narrative study were to (1) explore the intersections between homelessness and health among adolescent girls, with particular attention to the influence of contextual factors such as violence, gender, and poverty; and (2) to examine how these young women access health care, barriers they encounter, and factors that contribute to their health promotion. The sample consisted of ten females, ages 16-21, who were interviewed either individually or in small groups. Consistent with feminist research approaches, the interviews were conducted in an interactive manner in order to encourage critical reflection and dialogue. Data analysis consisted of a thematic analysis of the participants' experiences. Findings revealed that most girls had fled from difficult, and at times dangerous, situations at home to lives on the street that brought a new set of challenges, including a multitude of health problems and exposure to violence, chronic poverty, and discrimination. Many barriers to effective health care were described. In this article, the findings of the research will be presented and implications for health and social service providers will be addressed, including recommendations for programming and policy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"