LGBT Youth Social Ecology and Homeless Essay

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Social Ecology and Homeless LGBT Youth

The ecosystem is a basic well-structured and organized unit that facilitates the bringing together of the physical environment and the living organisms in a single framework. As a result, this makes it possible to study the interrelations between biotic and abiotic constituents. Social ecology takes into account the application of manifold levels and techniques of analysis and theoretical standpoints of social problems, acknowledging the dynamic and active nature of human-environment interrelations and the social, cultural, historical and institutional contexts of people’s lives. One of the fundamental principles of ecology is to identify a phenomenon as a social problem (Stokols, 2018). In this regard, the phenomenon in consideration is the increasing number of homelessness amongst LGBT youth. LGBT homeless youth are especially a susceptible population as they account for approximately 20 percent to 40 percent of all homeless youth (McCandless, 2017). The inference of this is that they are almost 7 times over represented amongst the homeless community.

A second principle of social ecology is to perceive the problem from multiple levels and methods of analysis. Environmental settings have manifold dimensions which have an impact on the interrelation between the person and the environment. Environmental settings may be examined from several standpoints which are germane to health and welfare. Fitting instances of such multiple dimensions comprise of social cohesion, emotional welfare, development progress and physical health status (Stokols, 1988). Social ecology theory lays emphasis on the significance of pinpointing different physical and social conditions within settings that can impact occupants (Stokols, 1988). The practice is characteristically classified into three interrelated levels, which include the micro level, the meso level and the macro level. To begin with, at the micro level, the smallest levels of interaction are examined.

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These analyses might comprise of one-on-one interactions between friends or couples. This might also take into account the manner in which an individual’s perception of himself or herself is impacted by his or her social context. LGBT homeless youth have the perception of being unwanted by their families and loved ones subsequent to coming out and therefore usually opt to leave their homes in search of acceptance.

At the meso level, the inclination is that sociologists study the experiences of groups in addition to the interaction and interrelation between groups (Blackstone, 2012). With respect to the LGBT homeless youth, it can be perceived that at the micro level, they face not only the challenges characteristic to homeless youth, but on top of that also experience social stigma, discrimination and frequently face rejection by the families, relatives and loved ones. Imperatively, the failure of essential family and society safety nets purposed to provide support to these youth has disparaging consequences on their economic stability, educational achievement, their future as well as life expectancy. The fundamental pathway to LGBT youth homelessness is down to the interrelation between them and their families. Notably, family conflict is deemed to be the most underlying reason for all youth homelessness. 50 percent of all teenagers experience a negative reaction from their parents and the family as a whole when they choose to come out and more than one in four of these teenagers are forced to leave their homes (Lesley University, 2018).

In accordance to Lesley University (2018), there are regional disparities in LGBT youth homelessness with greater percentages being perceived on the East Coast and West Coast. Statistics indicate that approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of the youth homeless population.....

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References

Blackstone, A. (2012). Sociological inquiry principles: qualitative and quantitative methods. Maine: Flat World Knowledge.

Katz-Wise, S. L., Rosario, M., & Tsappis, M. (2016). LGBT Youth and Family Acceptance. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 63(6), 1011.

Kloos, B., Hill, J., Thomas, E., Wandersman, A., & Elias, M. J. (2012). Community psychology: Linking individuals and communities. Cengage Learning.

Lesley University. (2018). The Cost of Coming Out: LGBT Youth Homelessness. Retrieved from: https://lesley.edu/article/the-cost-of-coming-out-lgbt-youth-homelessness

McCandless, S. (2017). LGBT Homeless Youth and Policing. Public Integrity, 1-13.

Stokols, D. (1988). Transformational processes in people-environment relations. In McGrath, J.E. (Ed.), The social psychology of time: New perspectives. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 233-252.

Stokols, D. (2018). Social ecology in the Digital Age: Solving complex problems in a globalized world. Academic Press.

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