My Own Best Friend: Homeless Youths’ Hesitance to Seek Help and Strategies for Coping Independently after Distressing and Traumatic Experiences

Kimberly Bender, Stephanie Begun, Rebecca Durbahn, Kristin Ferguson-Colvin, Nick Schau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although homeless youth face extreme adversities, they are often hesitant to seek help from formal and informal supports. The current study qualitatively explored homeless youths’ reasons for coping independently and their strategies for doing so. Youth accessing services (N = 145) in three U.S. cities were interviewed about their rationales for not seeking help from others regarding distressing experiences. Analyses illustrated specific barriers to help seeking that prompted homeless youth to cope on their own by utilizing soothing, avoidant, aggressive, and introspective coping strategies. Implications for outreaching to those least likely to seek help are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Work in Public Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 29 2018

Keywords

  • coping strategies
  • Homeless youth
  • independence
  • risk and resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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