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The stories of homeless street youth : a narrative inquiry of time perspective, health, and health promotion

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Item Summary

Title: The stories of homeless street youth : a narrative inquiry of time perspective, health, and health promotion
Authors: LaCoursiere Zucchero, Terri Lynn
Keywords: homelessness
youth homelessness
health promotion
Issue Date: Dec 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Abstract: Homeless youth represent a highly vulnerable population who engage in high-risk behaviors or "survival strategies" and suffer disproportionate risk of mortality from their circumstances (Kidd, 2012). A growing body of theory and research suggests that time perspective, a psychological construct representing an individual's way of relating to the past, present, and future (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999), can impact one's current course of action. Adults and children with positive future orientation tend to experience better life outcomes than those with a negative future orientation (Aronowitz & Morrison-Beedy, 2004; Robbins & Bryan, 2004; Vankineeste et al., 2004). This study addressed a gap in the scientific literature by providing a rich understanding of homeless street youth, specifically with regard to their time perspective, and the connection it may have on their health and health promotion.
A descriptive study design was employed for this research and narrative inquiry was chosen as the methodology in order to obtain and explore the stories of homeless street youth. Storytelling is considered a primary way by which people make sense of, give meaning to, and share their experiences (Duffy, 2007). Stories allow people to understand their past, present, and future and this has an effect on present actions and future goals (Polkinghorne, 1988).
Narrative analysis (Polkinghorne, 1995) was used to analyze the stories of thirteen homeless street youth. Participants in the study were between the ages of 18 and 21 years old. There were six females, five males, and two female to male transgender individuals. A semi-structured, interview guide was used in each case to allow the participant to contribute his/her own ideas. All participants were initially asked to tell their story, in their own words, any way they wanted to tell it. Additional questions were designed to invite the research participants to discuss being homeless and their time perspectives, health, and health promotion.
The product of the narrative analysis was a collection of thirteen stories of homeless street youth. Additionally, analyses of story uniqueness and similarities were performed. As a collection, the stories provided rich information to answer the research questions and revealed specific details about childhood family conflict, violence exposure and victimization, alcohol and drug abuse, survival strategies, health, health promotion, and time perspective; and the possible connection that time perspective has to health and health promotion. Through their stories, homeless youth participants provided meaningful insights into a very complicated phenomenon, street life. Two important findings in this study are: 1) many homeless street youth possess positive future time perspectives; and 2) a possible connection between time perspective, health, and health promotion may exist.
This study provides clinicians, educators, and researchers with valuable information about the homeless youth population. By making a contribution to the literature, this research can guide the development of further studies and possible interventions to improve healthcare for this population. From this study there is a potential for expanding nursing knowledge in multiple ways including: the development of theories; practice innovations; research; health promotion education; and policies for addressing the needs of homeless youth for optimal health and well-being.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Nursing
Ph.D. - Nursing

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