Adolescent Youth And Society Runaways Article Critique

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This was equivalent to those youth utilizing ongoing, long-term services (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006). Critique

There are several significant limitations that must be considered when looking at the results of this study. First, there was lack of a control group which limits the conclusions that can be drawn concerning causal assertions about the effectiveness of services. It is thought that future research on service use for this population needs to include a comparison condition of other troubled youth, perhaps runaway/homeless youth not seeking crisis services. Features of the sampling strategy limited the generalization of the findings. Since the sample included only service-using youth, it is not generalizable to the entire runaway/homeless population. The authors believed that the youth in this sample were representative of the population of service-using runaway/homeless youth from Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, and Kansas. However, other research has suggested that this population is not representative of other geographic areas across the U.S. In terms of demographics and other factors. This provides support for the need to examine service-seeking populations in other regions of around the country (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006).

In addition, the outcomes were only measured for 6 months after intervention. Although this extends the length of other longitudinal studies currently in the literature, whether further reduction occurs or outcomes maintain can not be determined by this study. It is also thought that there was a possibility that agency personnel interviewing their own program participants may have introduced bias into the study. The researchers felt that the trade-off of re-locating individuals and tracking a representative sample without an abundant budget made this bias unavoidable. A further challenge that was found when using agency personnel as interviewers was that the outcome interviews had to be relatively short. This resulted in an instrument that measured outcomes and service but was limited in complexity. The limited number...

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Most importantly, the evidence of short-term outcome improvement supported the need to continue provisions of short-term crisis services for this particular population. The results also point to the need for additional services following discharge from emergency shelter services. While it appears that these services can be helpful to the successful outcomes of these high-risk youth, it is also seen that high-risk youth exhibit low rates of social service utilization (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006).
Conclusion

Short-term shelters are a central part of the national service response to the needs of runaway and homeless youth. This study adds to the knowledge of the effectiveness of this model through testing hypotheses around short -- and longer-term effectiveness, as well as exploring the role of post-discharge service use. The results confirm the hypotheses that runaway shelters are effective across a wide range of outcomes, but that over time many of these outcomes ease. Post-discharge service use does not appear to be consistently associated with improved outcomes. This may be because of the measurement or reflect differences in severity of youth's problems. The findings of this study suggest that there is a need for post-discharge coordination of care, particularly around substance use and family issues (Pollio, Thompson, Tobias, Reid and Spitznagel, 2006).

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Pollio, David E., Thompson, Sanna J., Tobias, Lisa, Reid, Donna and Spitznagel, Edward.

(2006). Longitudinal Outcomes for Youth Receiving Runaway/Homeless Shelter

Services. Journal of Youth & Adolescence. 35(5), p. 852-859.


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