Attachment, social network and homelessness in young people

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Louis Travecchio
M. A. E. Thomeer
Wim Meeus
Cite this article:  Travecchio, L., Thomeer, M., & Meeus, W. (1999). Attachment, social network and homelessness in young people. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 27(3), 247-262.


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Homelessness in young people is partially explained within the framework of attachment theory. The relationship between family background, parenting style, experiences of separation and loss, and quality of the attachment relationship was examined in a group of homeless youths (n = 108) and two comparison groups, i.e., residential youths (n = 85) and a large control group of youths from the ‘standard’ population (n = 1,228). Also, data regarding the influence of social support were obtained. Results indicate that growing up in a family with divorced parents, and especially a lack of parental responsiveness and emotional support are significant factors in the genesis of homelessness. Social support systems can, however, act as a protective factor and thus prevent the development of homelessness.


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