That's not my problem: Convergence and divergence between self- and other-identified problems among homeless adolescents

Mental health symptoms, victimization experiences, and rates of substance use among homeless youth were assessed using typical clinical intake questions and standard questionnaires. Youth were also asked what they regarded as their primary problems. Results indicated that issues likely to concern health professionals, such as past victimization, high rates of substance use, and psychological symptoms, are often not regarded as problems by homeless youth. Also, based on responses to a coping interview, homeless youth indicated that they rarely sought help from mental health professionals, and tended to cope with problems in a variety of other ways. Despite obstacles to the provision of services, many youth indicated a willingness to talk to a counselor about self-identified problems and there were some points of convergence between self- and other-identified problems.
Accession Number: 19100142; Fisher, Mary 1Florsheim, Paul 2 Email Address: florsheim@psych.utah.eduSheetz, Joan 1; Affiliations: 1: University of Utah , Salt Lake City 2: Department of Psychology , University of Utah , 380 South 1530 East, Room 502 Salt Lake City 84112; Source Information: Dec2005, Vol. 34 Issue 6, p393; Subject Term: ADJUSTMENT (Psychology)Subject Term: DIFFERENCE (Psychology)Subject Term: HOMELESS youthSubject Term: MENTAL healthSubject Term: SOCIAL work with youthSubject Term: SUBSTANCE abuseSubject Term: TEENAGERS -- Health hygieneSubject Term: VICTIMS of crimes; Author-Supplied Keyword: homeless youthAuthor-Supplied Keyword: copingAuthor-Supplied Keyword: problem definitionAuthor-Supplied Keyword: service delivery; NAICS/Industry Codes: 621330 Offices of Mental Health Practitioners (except Physicians); Number of Pages: 11p; Illustrations: 1 chart; DOI: 10.1007/s10566-005-7753-9; Document Type: Article
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Child Youth Care Forum
This study examined the difference between homeless youth's self-identifed behavioral and mental health needs, and the needs that mental professionals tend to focus on. Forty homeless youth were administered standard psychological measures and were given a face-to-face interview. The study found that issues such as past victimization, symptoms of mental illness, substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors were generally not thought-of as problems by homeless youth. Most youth described relationship problems as their primary concern, followed by work or school related issues. These youth rarely sought assistance from mental health professionals, but were willing to talk to counselors about problems they self-identifed as being important.
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Adolescent / High School; Underserved Populations
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