This cross-sectional study explored differences in the impact of self-reported coping style, self-esteem and perceived support on the psychological adjustment of homeless and housed female youth.
Data were obtained from homeless female youth (n = 72, M = 17.5 years) accessing an emergency shelter in a large Canadian urban centre and a comparison group of housed females (n = 102 ; M = 17.2 years) from local high schools who had never resided in a shelter.
Homeless youth reported lower self-worth, increased suicidal behaviour, less perceived parental support and higher levels of depressive symptoms and both internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems than housed youth. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that disengagement coping was a significant predictor of depressive symptoms and both internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems in homeless and housed youth.
Findings reflect the merit of considering coping style, parental support and self-worth in the presentation of depressive symptoms and behaviour problems in homeless and housed female youth.