Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Appendix A: Impact of Homelessness on Children: An Analytic Review of the Literature


This paper reviews published research conducted in the United States pertaining to the effects of homelessness on the mental health, behavior, health, and academic performance of children who are homeless with their families. This has been the central aim of most of the studies involving homeless children that have been conducted to date. A primary intent of the chapter is to describe what has been learned as well as to discuss some of the issues that may have led to inconsistent study findings over the years. In addition, the paper identifies gaps in the understanding of homeless children, one of which is the lack of information on different subgroups of homeless children based on varying constellations of problems or needs.

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