A support intervention to promote health and coping among homeless youths

Miriam Stewart, Linda Reutter, Nicole Letourneau, Edward Makwarimba
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 2009, 41 (2): 55-77
Homeless youths are often vulnerable to limited support resources and loneliness. Peers are a potent source of social support. A support intervention for homeless youths was designed to optimize peer influence and was pilot tested. The intervention was based on an initial assessment of support needs and intervention preferences from the perspective of 36 homeless youths and 27 service providers. Based on the results, a 20-week pilot intervention program was designed, consisting of 4 support groups, optional one-on-one support, group recreational activities, and meals. Support was provided by professional and peer mentors, including formerly homeless youths. A total of 56 homeless youths aged 16 to 24 took part. Participants completed pre-, mid-, and post-test quantitative measures and qualitative interviews. In spite of challenges due primarily to attrition, the youths reported enhanced health behaviours, improved mental well-being, decreased loneliness, expanded social network, increased coping skills, enhanced self-efficacy, and diminished use of drugs and alcohol. Further research could focus on replication at other sites with a larger sample.

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"