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Young people’s accounts of homelessness: A case study analysis of psychological well-being and identity.

Riggs, EH and Coyle, A (2002) Young people’s accounts of homelessness: A case study analysis of psychological well-being and identity. The Counselling Psychology Review, 17. pp. 5-15.


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With the aim of informing counselling psychology practice with young homeless people, this paper reports a qualitative study of psychological well-being and identity among four young people, recruited in the English Midlands, who had experienced homelessness between the ages of 16 and 25. All participants were interviewed; interview transcripts were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis, with analyses presented on a case-by-case basis. In physical terms, participants associated homelessness with a lack of permanent housing or a secure place for physical possessions. In psychological terms, homelessness was associated with feeling isolated, rejected or alienated, lacking an emotional attachment to or identification with a place and lacking a safe space for psychological ‘belongings’. Participants also referred to a loss of identity and person-hood whilst homeless. Identity threat had been dealt with through intrapsychic and intergroup coping strategies. Suggestions are offered for counselling psychology practice with this population.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 1 August 2002
Additional Information : This is an author-prepared PDF of an article published in The Counselling Psychology Review, 17, 5-15. © 2002 The British Psychological Society. Click here to visit the journal website.
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:43
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:02

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