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Public Health. 2018 Aug 21. pii: S0033-3506(18)30217-8. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2018.06.012. [Epub ahead of print]

A national study of Indigenous youth homelessness in Canada.

Author information

1
University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address: sean_kidd@camh.net.
2
York University Department of History, Toronto, Canada.
3
Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.
4
University of Guelph Department of Sociology, Toronto, Canada.
5
York University Faculty of Education, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was designed to address the need for more detailed information about Indigenous homeless youth, a group overrepresented in the homeless population, using a national-level data set.

STUDY DESIGN:

The study used a cross-sectional, self-report survey design.

METHODS:

Surveys were used to gather demographic, mental health, and quality of life data from a sample of 1103 Canadian youth accessing homeless services with data collected in 2015. This article focused on the 332 Indigenous respondents, using both comparisons with non-Indigenous youth and within-group comparisons across key domains.

RESULTS:

These findings suggested greater mental health and addiction challenges among Indigenous homeless youth compared with non-Indigenous respondents as well as evidence of a more problematic role of child protection. Within-group comparisons suggested that female and sexual and gender minority youth are particularly at risk among Indigenous youth with some added child protection and justice implications for reserve-raised youth. Child protection history and street-victimization were particularly relevant to the current distress levels.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, such findings reinforce calls for Indigenous-specific interventions for these populations-including policy-driven prevention initiatives to address the legacy of colonization.

KEYWORDS:

Aboriginal; First Nations; Homeless; Indigenous; Marginalized; Youth

PMID:
30143269
DOI:
10.1016/j.puhe.2018.06.012

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