My Own Best Friend: Homeless Youths’ Hesitance to Seek Help and Strategies for Coping Independently after Distressing and Traumatic Experiences.
Graduate School of Social Work
Homeless youth, Coping strategies, Risk and resilience, Independence
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.
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Bender, K., Begun, S., Durbahn, R., Ferguson-Colvin, K., & Schau, N. My own best friend: Homeless youths’ hesitance to seek help and strategies for coping independently after distressing and traumatic experiences. Social Work in Public Health, 33(3), 149-162. doi: 10.1080/19371918.2018.1424062