Homeless Youth Seeking Health & Life Meaning through Popular Culture and the Arts

Mutere, M. et al (2014). Homeless Youth Seeking Health & Life Meaning through Popular Culture and the Arts. Child & Youth Services 35 (3): 273-287

ABSTRACT: This pilot study demonstrates the roles of popular culture, media and the arts in the health and self-esteem of homeless youth. Reflecting focus group findings from a representative sample of street and sheltered youth, this paper provides a qualitative assessment of what they advocated as an effective intervention that would promote the receipt of health services within their vulnerable community. Unlike alienating disease models where adverse health behaviors and outcomes determine intervention success or failure, a culturally-sensitive approach which provided skills mentoring and engaged the youth as health advocates seemed likely to produce important recovery incentives and enhanced health outcomes.

UPDATE: The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth featured this article on September 3rd, 2015 @ http://ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/news/2015/09/what-type-messages-motivate-homeless-youth-meet-their-health-needs

Malaika Mutere, Ph.D. is author of Towards an Africa-centered and pan-African theory of communication: Ubuntu and the Oral Aesthetic perspective  Communicatio 38 (2) 2012: 147-163

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