Homeless Young People’s Experiences of Caregiver Rejection

Schmitz, R. M.,
Tyler, K. A.
Year Published: 2015
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Volume: 24

Issue: 9

In this qualitative study, the authors explored the dynamics of caregiver rejection experienced by 40 homeless young adults 19–21 years of age. Nearly all of the youth (90 percent) reported familial rejection that was linked with wider household conflict, including “feeling like an outsider,” “being betrayed by a primary caregiver for a significant other,” “being pushed into institutional living,” or “being kicked out by a caregiver” prior to leaving home. Several youth experienced multiple types of rejection. Along with being rejected by a caregiver, youth also reported being abused by their caregiver’s intimate partner. Others experienced rejection by caregivers on the grounds of behavioral issues, which most often led to the young person being kicked out. These experiences can impact homeless young people’s future life chances as they attempt to exit the street. The authors discuss the implications for early intervention and prevention programs tailored to young people who have experienced caregiver rejection and detachment. Modified Author Abstract.

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