Technology Use among Emerging Adult Homeless in Two U.S. Cities

Researchers have shown increasing interest in technology use among youths and emerging adults (Bleakley, Merzel, VanDevanter, & Messeri, 2004; Redpath et al., 2006; Valentine & Bernhisel, 2008). However, no research to date examines this issue among emerging adult homeless. As these young people are more difficult to engage in services (Ensign & Bell, 2004; Hudson, Nyamathi, & Sweat, 2008) and have higher rates of mental illness (Merscham, Van Leeuwen, & McGuire, 2009) and substance abuse (Barczyk & Thompson, 2008) than the general population, using technology may provide a novel means to approach them. This exploratory study sought to answer two questions: (1) How often, where, and for what purpose do emerging adult homeless use technology? (2) What risk factors (for example, transience, mental illness, addiction) predict technology use?

Publication Date: 
In Press
Journal Name: 
Social Work