Leaving home for the streets : voices of youth from Ghana's streets Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j3860b994

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  • Homelessness is a social concern worldwide. In Ghana, homelessness among the youth comes as a result of several factors, the major one being rural-urban migration. Rural-Urban drift is impelled by several factors ranging from perceptions of economic opportunities in urban areas, to increasing rejection of aberrant traditional practices such as forced arranged marriages of adolescent girls to older partners. Unfortunately, the support systems in the cities are not adequate to provide for the subsistence needs of immigrating youth leading to adverse consequences. Youth homelessness has resulted in a growth of marginal employment in prostitution and instrumental crime, increase in sexually transmitted and other diseases, and loss of human resources necessary for long term economic development. Using Symbolic Interaction and Family Systems theories, this qualitative study was conducted in Ghana using in-depth interviews of 24 street youth between 15 and 17 years. The study explored how street youth perceive their decisions to leave home and subsequently end up on the streets, and their experiences on the street. Results revealed a link between youth homelessness in Ghana and family, environmental, and cultural factors. This research contributes to the gap in the literature on homeless youth in Ghana because no previous studies had been conducted on this subject. Findings further contribute by providing directions for possible policy implications for agencies seeking to reach this population in Ghana.
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