Barriers to Education in Homeless Youth

Most homeless youth in Canada have not completed high school. Lack of education is a critical issue that affects pathways to gainful employment, financial security, and positive health. Several risk factors affect their ability to succeed in school; however, there has been limited research in Canada that identifies the most influential factors. This study is a secondary analysis of the Youth Matters in London: Mental Health, Addiction and Homelessness study in London Ontario. It is guided by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of human development. The effects of several environmental factors on the academic achievement of 187 homeless youth with mental health and addiction issues were assessed using logistic regression. Results indicated that housing stability was the most significant predictor of academic achievement. This study has implications for affordable, accessible housing and educational program policy that will assist youth with their academic achievement.

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