Homelessness And Poverty-Related Stress

1021 Words 5 Pages
Research suggests that there are approximately 1.6-2 million homeless youth living on the streets, in shelters or in other temporary accommodations in the United States on any given night (Edidin, Ganim, Hunter, Karnik, 2012). A homeless person can be defined as anyone who lacks an appropriate, regular nighttime residence; and whose main nighttime residence is a temporary living accommodation, including shelters, transitional housing, or a place not intended for regular nighttime accommodations (Edidin et al., 2012). Reasons for homelessness range from young pregnancies and failure to complete schooling to substance abuse or unemployment. Homeless families are under a significant amount of stress. Families and children experiencing homelessness …show more content…
This is due to the substantial levels of poverty-related stress and high rates of parental mental illness. Poverty-related stress has an influence on child adjustment brought on by an unsupportive emotional climate (Labella, Narayan, Masten, 2016). The child-caregiver relationship is a vital focus when families with young children are experiencing homelessness. As these children grow up, strained relationships with parents may result in separation of youth and family. In turn, this may decrease the parental motivation to provide their child with support. As they continue to mature, relationships with family members become more significant. This can include siblings, absent caregivers or parental figures, and stepfamily (Kilmer et al., …show more content…
There are multiple factors that play a role in the development of mental illness in homeless children. External factors such as sexual and physical abuse, parental conflict, and parental mental illness. Common mental disorders associated with homelessness are Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety disorders, and disruptive behavioral disorders. Given this information, it is not surprising that suicidal ideation, attempts, and completed suicide are at high rates among the homeless. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the most prevalent disorders in this population. Levels of psychiatric disorders is about double for homeless youth than in their housed peers. (Edidin et al., 2012).
Behavior among Homeless Children
Children have different responses regarding living in a homeless/emergency shelter. Some can be described as being angry and emotional and others seem happier due to the stability. Issues of anger and anxiety in children are also often raised as a result of homelessness. (Hinton et al., 2013). Behavior is also related to how involved the parent/caregiver is in the child-caregiver relationship.

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