Youth and Society Article Critique

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Youth and Society

Runaways that utilize short-term shelter services are more likely to have a better outcome than those youth who do not seek out services. Evaluating the outcomes of youth using shelter services provides an opportunity to document intervention effectiveness, as well as guide future service development. Research in this area has shown that youth utilizing crisis shelter services had strong positive outcomes six weeks after discharge. This study adds to the current knowledge by testing hypotheses around short -- and longer-term effectiveness, as well as exploring the role of post-discharge service use. The results confirm the hypotheses that runaway shelters are effective across a wide range of outcomes, but that over time many of these outcomes ease. This study also finds that there is a need for post-discharge coordination of care, particularly around substance use and family issues


Research on runaway and homeless youth has traditionally focused on the causes, backgrounds, and individual characteristics that are associated with running away. A considerable amount of research has recognized the uneven risk for problems faced by these youth. High-risk problem behaviors include: substance use and abuse, HIV / AIDS risk behaviors, depressive symptoms and suicide. While these studies have provided a view of the challenges experienced by runaway/homeless youth, there has been limited research that has addressed service provision and outcomes of service use among this high-risk youth population (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006).

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Article Critique on Youth and Society Assignment

In a study done by Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, (2006), the long-term outcomes of runaway/homeless adolescents who utilize emergency shelter services were examined. Evaluating outcomes of youth using shelter services provides an opportunity to document intervention effectiveness, as well as guide future service development. Outcomes targeted by interventions to runaway/homeless youth have been looked at in terms of school status, employment, self-esteem, behavioral problems, mental health/substance use, and family relationships. There have been very few studies undertaken that have reviewed the results of runaway/homeless youth in seeking assistance from youth crisis shelters. Methodical evaluations of outcomes for the youth using services would provide much needed documentation of intervention effectiveness and point to new directions for service development. A systematic sound evaluation of these services represents a critical next step for service provision and policy decisions in regard to this under-served population (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006).

This was a longitudinal study conducted using runaway/homeless youth using emergency shelter and crisis services. Data was gathered from eleven agencies that provide services to these youth in Federal Region VII, which included Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. The participant agencies were part of the MINK Network of Runaway and Youth Services, a group of programs providing emergency shelter and crisis services for youth. All agencies were federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. The eleven agencies that participated in the study provided services across an assortment of settings including urban, suburban, and rural locations. Some were freestanding shelters and others were part of larger service networks. Agency populations showed considerable variation in both make up and size. Some agencies served only males or only females, while others served both. All agencies provided similar emergency shelter and crisis services, including short-term basic shelter, crisis support, and counseling. Agencies were funded from a variety of sources, but received a majority of their funding from governmental supports and the United Way. The study sample consisted of all youth discharged from each runaway/homeless youth emergency shelter for a 6-month period (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006).

The most significant finding of this study showed that shelter-using youths returning home to live with their parents experienced greater positive outcomes than youths who were released to other locations. Findings from this study also demonstrated that youth utilizing… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Youth and Society" Article Critique in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Youth and Society.  (2010, June 18).  Retrieved November 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Youth and Society."  18 June 2010.  Web.  28 November 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Youth and Society."  June 18, 2010.  Accessed November 28, 2020.