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iDEA: Drexel E-repository and Archives > Drexel Theses and Dissertations > Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations > The Journeys of Homeless Adolescents: A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Lives of Shelter Youth through the Creation of Life Maps

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3109

Title: The Journeys of Homeless Adolescents: A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Lives of Shelter Youth through the Creation of Life Maps
Authors: Greskiewicz, Corinne N.
Keywords: Adolescents;Homelessness;Phenomenology;Shelters;Life Maps;Art Therapy
Issue Date: 15-Sep-2009
Abstract: The homeless adolescent population is constantly increasing in numbers and there is a continued need for assessment. Youth without stable living environments need to be a top priority, in terms of social services, as stated by the United States Government; exploring the needs of this population should be an integral part of the development of programs and systems that attempt to break the cycle of homelessness. The objective of this thesis is to explore what it is like to be a homeless adolescent prior to and while currently living in a shelter through the process and content of a life map. Using a life map as an art therapy task and an unstructured interview, this study aims to describe what it is like to be a homeless adolescent through phenomenological inquiry. The life map utilized in this study allowed the adolescent to express and explore his or her own life visually and metaphorically by drawing and creating a map which represents his or her journey. This art therapy task was evaluated in terms of its applicability and relevance to the population. The subjects for this study were recruited at Covenant House Pennsylvania, a crisis shelter for homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 21. Four subjects completed a life map and an interview. The major findings of this study are in the form of a “united statement of the essences of the experience of the phenomenon as a whole” (Moustakas, 1994, p. 100). Overall, the journey of a homeless adolescent is a tumultuous one; these adolescents were easily engaged in life reflection, although not as easily engaged in artwork. The adolescents seemed to prefer writing and verbalization, a finding that was further discussed by the researcher.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3109
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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