Health and Care Utilization among Youth with a History of Parental Incarceration and Homelessness

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Health and Care Utilization among Youth with a History of Parental Incarceration and Homelessness

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Families, Systems, & Health




Introduction. Despite widespread recognition of the health and social risks posed by parental incarceration and homelessness, these challenges are rarely considered in unison. We sought to (1) assess the experiences of homelessness among youth with and without a history of parental incarceration (PI), and (2) compare the health and health care utilization among youth with a combined history of PI and homelessness. Methods. Examining data from eighth, ninth, and eleventh grade public school participants in the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey (N=110,904), we calculated univariate and multivariate analyses to characterize the health status and care utilization of youth who have experienced PI, past-year homelessness, or both. Results. We observed higher prevalence of homelessness among youth with a history of PI compared to those without. The group with dual PI-homelessness experience had a higher proportion of youth that were younger, male, and non-white; and living in poverty or urban areas compared to youth with PI history only. Even after accounting for demographic factors, the dual PI-homelessness group evidenced higher expected odds for several physical health conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes), and differences in care utilization indicators relative to individual PI and homelessness groups. Discussion. Findings suggest that PI may be over-represented among recently homeless youth and that youth with such dual experience possess distinct, and often elevated, health service needs. Health, education, housing, and other systems may need intersectoral strategies to better identify and support this at-risk subset of youth through clinical and policy approaches.



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So, Marvin; Davis, Laurel; Barnes, Andrew; Freese, Rebecca; Atella, Julie; Shlafer, Rebecca. (2023). Health and Care Utilization among Youth with a History of Parental Incarceration and Homelessness. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, 10.1037/fsh0000830.

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