Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Kral, M.


Psychology, Clinical.




This study was developed to address the problem of the high rates of suicidality found among street youth. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 80 street youth in agencies and on the streets of Toronto and Vancouver. Participants described the meanings suicide held for them and their understandings of the phenomenon of suicide among street youth. Qualitative analysis of the interviews revealed themes of worthlessness, loneliness, hopelessness, and most centrally the feeling of being 'trapped' that form the construct of suicide held by the participants. These idioms of distress were situated within the context of the street life that included social stigma and oppression, and drug abuse. Recommendations are made for working with these youth. Additionally, it is suggested that a more socially active approach be taken to increase awareness of the issues of street youth, who are largely overlooked and maligned in public forums and social policy.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2001 .K535. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-04, Section: B, page: 2062. Adviser: Michael Kral. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.