Date of Award

8-12-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Eric R. Wright

Second Advisor

Katherine E. Masyn

Third Advisor

Erin Ruel

Abstract

LGBT* youth are over-represented among homeless youth and they face unique circumstances from their non-LGBT* homeless peers, such as increased risks of psychological distress (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al. 2014). Through multi-group, structural equation modeling, I compare the effects of time homeless on mental health outcomes (e.g., psychological distress) as measured by the Kessler 6 (K6) scale mediated by social support across non-LGBT*, LGB, and trans* groups. Findings indicate that social support is a significant mediator between the time a youth is homeless and their mental health outcomes, regardless of LGBT* status. Youth who are homeless six months or longer have worse mental health and fewer social supports than youth who are homeless less than six months. Additionally, the more social support a youth has, the higher their mental health is; however, individuals assigned female at birth have fewer social supports than males.

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