Nursing Faculty Publications

Title

School-aged Sheltered Homeless Children's Stressors and Coping Behaviors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Journal Title

Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Volume

16

Issue

2

First Page

102

Last Page

109

DOI

10.1053/jpdn.2001.23153

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the stressors and coping behaviors of school-aged homeless children staying in shelters. A secondary analysis of interview data from 30 children, between the ages of 8 to 12 years, was used to delineate the stressors and coping behaviors. Homeless, family, self, peer, school, and violent behavior were the stressor categories derived from content analysis. The children expressed more stresses in the homeless, family, and self categories than in the other 3 categories. The coping behaviors from the content analysis were categorized by using Ryan-Wenger's (1992) coping taxonomy. The majority of the children's coping responses were in the social support, cognitive avoidance, and behavioral distraction categories. Nurses should assess each child's stressors and coping behaviors when providing care to homeless children, and assist the child in alleviating some stressors by strengthening one's coping behaviors.

Keywords

Homeless children, stressors, coping behaviors