Children at Risk

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Publication Details

Subtitle: The Case of Latin American Street Youth
Author list: Marcela Raffaelli, Normanda Araujo de Morais, Silvia H. Koller
Publisher: Springer
Place: Dordrecht
Publication year: 2014
Start page: 2653
End page: 2668
Number of pages: 16
ISBN: 978-90-481-9062-1
eISBN: 978-90-481-9063-8
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Children and adolescents who spend their time in street settings
unaccompanied by adults (i.e., street youth) represent a subgroup of
children growing up in situations of vulnerability. Despite experiencing
high levels of adversity, research indicates that many street youth
report levels of well-being comparable to those reported by their housed
counterparts. This chapter asks, “How can street youth maintain
positive functioning given their objective living conditions?” To
resolve the contradiction between the objective reality in which street
youth live their lives and the way that many of them experience and
describe their situation, we propose a conceptual model, and use it to
organize research findings, focusing in particular on studies conducted
in Latin America. The model integrates elements of three key
developmental perspectives: Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model, a
stress and coping framework, and the resilience construct. We argue
that, ultimately, a full understanding of the situation of street youth
requires examining both their subjective and objective well-being and
exploring the extent to which their current situation supports positive
development in the long term. It is our hope that future research guided
by the proposed conceptual model can contribute to improving research,
practice, and policy.


Homeless Youth, Life Satisfaction, Mental Health Difficulty, Psychology, Street Child, Street Youth


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:15