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Youth, Homelessness, and Education

The Youth, Homelessness, and Education project is a pilot project focusing on youth (ages 12 to 17) who have been homeless, run away, or both. The project uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to examine how youth experiences of having been homeless or having run away influence the likelihood of graduating from high school.

It has been demonstrated that homeless and runaway youth have poor educational outcomes.  However, it has not yet been determined whether these outcomes are attributable to preexisting risk factors commonly seen among youth who have experienced episodes of being runaway or homeless – such as family instability or distress and social and emotional health risks – or to the episodes themselves.

This project aims to advance the research agenda by adjusting for other risk factors and examining how homeless or runaway episodes themselves influence the educational outcomes of youth.

Youth who have experienced homeless or runaway episodes tend to come from vulnerable backgrounds, and educational attainment is an important outcome to examine since it is a key determinant of successful transitions to adulthood and independent living.   NCCP is interested in identifying factors that facilitate successful educational outcomes for this vulnerable group. Drawing on the results of this study, project researchers are identifying effective prevention and intervention strategies for runaway and homeless youth to best promote their success in educational contexts.

Youth, Homelessness, and Education is funded by the Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies (CHPS) and is a part of CHPS Scholar Program.