Methods: The original study used a cross-sectional design and purposive sampling to recruit 601 HYA (ages 18-24) from agencies in Los Angeles (n=200), Austin (n=200), and Denver (n=201). Face-to-face interviews used a quantitative retrospective questionnaire to assess demographics, homelessness history, mental health and substance use (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview), childhood abuse (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire), peer associations, and income generation. Each author uses a different theoretical framework and econometric model to assess the magnitude of effects of a social policy on HYAs' outcomes.
Results: The first abstract uses the risk and resilience framework and logistic regression to test the effects of WIOA on HYAs' likelihood of being enrolled in school or vocational training. Results indicate that HYA had increased likelihood of being enrolled if they had received income from formal employment, had higher levels of both family emotional support and adaptive sense of time, lived in Denver, and identified as Latino/a. HYA had a decreased likelihood of enrollment if they experienced recent detention or reported previous physical neglect.
The second abstract uses Educational Resilience theory and logistic regression to test the effects of State Tuition Waiver Programs for Foster Youth on HYAs' educational outcomes. Results suggest that a higher probability of negative educational outcomes were associated with being arrested and experiencing emotional neglect. A lower probability of negative educational outcomes was associated with being older, being employed, and experiencing physical abuse.
The third abstract uses the Four Traumagenic Dynamics Model and linear regression to test the effects of child sexual abuse (CSA) and related predictors on the self-efficacy and self-esteem of HYA. Results indicate that lower self-efficacy was associated with CSA, being restricted from and/or kicked out of agency services, and emotional neglect. Lower self-esteem was associated with CSA and emotional neglect.
Conclusions: These abstracts suggest that econometric methods are helpful for policymakers and practitioners to improve policies and services for HYA that reduce disparities related to economic, educational and mental health outcomes. Policies for addressing youth homelessness should consider the influence of risk factors that HYA experience both prior to homelessness and once homeless and offer integrated mental health services in educational and vocational programming.