Health, Homelessness and Stigma: Views and experiences of young people in Scotland.

Andrea Rodriguez, Laura Beaton, Ruth Freeman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Homelessness, health and stigma. Views and experiences of young people in Scotland. People who are experiencing or at risk of become homeless are among the most vulnerable groups in society. They have complex needs that go beyond the access to housing and social benefits (Anderson & Ytrehus, 2012). The experience of homelessness can lead to poorer health outcomes as well as emotional issues that demand a holistic approach (Freeman et al, 2011). Vulnerable young people can be even more vulnerable than adult population. In many situations, young people experience ‘hidden' forms of homelessness that are not easily addressed by services and welfare. In Scotland, vulnerable young people who are at risk of homelessness face a number of barriers to access health care (Freeman et al, 2011; Morrison, 2009; Scottish Government, 2005). Among these barriers, stigma appears as a relevant issue that has a direct impact on the way those youngsters access and experience health services. In our direct experience with these groups the fear of being discriminated by health practitioners seems to be a major driver that impacts on service engagement. This ongoing research uses elements of the Theory of Social Representations (Moscovici, 1978) as a way to know the views and experiences of young people living in supported accommodations in Edinburgh. The research explored their views on health, homelessness and stigma through a series of workshops to have an initial approach with a group of young people living in youth homeless accommodations. We wanted to reflect upon the interplay between health and stigma, and the factors that can represent barriers and enablers to their engagement with health services. After this initial approach semi-structured interviews will be conducted to explore views and experiences raised by the workshops. The material will be analysed using a thematic content analysis as proposed by Bardin (2003). References: Anderson, I & Ytrehus, S. (2012). Re-conceptualising Approaches to Meeting the Health Needs of Homeless People. Jornal Soc. Pol. 41, 3, Cambridge University Press, 551–568. Bardin, L. (2003). L'analyse de contenu et de la forme des communications. In: Moscovi, S. & Buschini, F. Les méthodes des sciences humaines. Paris: PUF; p. 243-270. CANDAU, Vera Maria et al. Oficinas pedagógicas de direitos humanos . 2ª ed. Petrópolis, RJ : Vozes, 1995. FREIRE, Paulo. Pedagogia do oprimido. 19ª ed. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1991. Freeman, R., Coles, E., Edwards, M., Elliot, G.M., Heffernan, A., & Moore, A. (2011) The Oral Health of Homeless People across Scotland: Report of the Homeless Oral Health Survey in Scotland, 2008-2009. Dundee: University of Dundee. Morrison, D. S. (2009). Homelessness as an independent risk factor for mortality: results from a retrospective cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 38, 877–883. Moscovici, S. Notes towards a description of social representations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18: pp. 211-250, 1998. Scottish Executive (2005). Health and Homelessness Standards. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
Event13th International Conference on Social Representations : Epistemologies of everyday life - Marseille, France
Duration: 14 Sept 201617 Sept 2016


Conference13th International Conference on Social Representations


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