Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Eric R. Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Mathew Gayman

Third Advisor

Dr. Erin Ruel


Youth homelessness is a growing issue in the United States. Black homeless youth are a unique subgroup to be studied because these youth must simultaneously manage stressors that accompany racial minority and homeless statuses during critical stages of development. Using data from the Atlanta Youth Count Needs Assessment, this thesis explores the impact of childhood trauma on psychological distress of Black homeless youth (N=556). In addition, this thesis examines whether the relationship between childhood trauma and psychological distress is conditioned by the level of social support reported by Black homeless youth. Results show that childhood trauma experienced by Black homeless youth is associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Although greater social support is linked to lower levels of psychological distress, social support does not moderate the link between childhood trauma and psychological distress. These findings are intended to inform health policy and resource options for Black homeless youth.


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