Homeless Education Research

NCHE Resources

NCHE Mobility Study Bibliography

This NCHE bibliography, updated in September 2011, provides a comprehensive listing of research studies addressing the issue of mobility and its effects on a child's or youth's education.
Download the NCHE Mobility Study Bibliography

Research Summary: Homelessness and Education Cross-System Collaboration - Applied Research Summary and Tools

This NCHE publication provides local homeless education liaisons and homeless service providers with a framework, strategies, and tools for more effective collaboration to improve the academic outcomes, well-being, and lifelong trajectory of young people who have experienced homelessness or trauma. The publication explores a framework for collaboration that accounts for stakeholders' assumptions, vision, incentives, rules and regulations, organizational cultures, needs, and experiences; and includes resources and tools for practitioners to use in their efforts to collaborate more effectively.
Download Homelessness and Education Cross-System Collaboration - A Literature Review and Tools.

Research Summary: Resilience and At-risk Children and Youth

This NCHE publication provides an overview of research on resilience as it relates to counteracting risk in at-risk children and youth, including children and youth experiencing homelessness. The concept of resilience has received increased attention recently in a growing body of literature that has reported not only the psychological and academic impacts of homelessness, but also has highlighted ways to strengthen the resilience of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Download Resilience and At-risk Children and Youth.

Research Summary: Supporting Homeless Children and Youth through Proactive and Positive Behavior Management and Intervention Practices

This NCHE research summary reviews and provides a general appraisal of selected proactive behavior intervention and management practices prevalent in current educational literature. The examples of current practice and models explored include Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Responsive Classroom (RC), Response to Intervention (RTI), Character Education (CE), and other selected classroom behavior management practices appropriate for both the individual classroom and the whole school community. The summary seeks to equip teachers, school administrators, and practitioners with promising strategies to support students in homeless situations.
Download Supporting Homeless Children and Youth through Proactive and Positive Behavior Management and Intervention Practices.

Research Summary: Teaching and Classroom Strategies for Homeless and Highly Mobile Students

The National Center for Homeless Education provides an annual summary of research on an emerging topic related to educating homeless and highly mobile students. The 2012 research summary, regarding academic resilience in homeless students, prompted readers to ask for more effective strategies to assist students in the classroom. In response to these requests, this research summary examines peer-reviewed research conducted between 2002 and 2013, cross-referencing the topics of homeless and/or highly mobile student with teaching, learning, classroom, or school.
Download Research Summary: Teaching and Classroom Strategies for Homeless and Highly Mobile Students.

Summary of the State of Research on the Relationship Between Homelessness and Academic Achievement Among School-Aged Children and Youth

This publication provides an overview of research that studies the relationship between homelessness and academic achievement among school-aged children and youth in the United States. For readers interested in conducting research on the education of homeless children and youth, this publication (1) provides context on child, youth, and family homelessness from the late 1980s to the present; (2) summarizes policies and practices that link homeless children and youth to educational supports and services; (3) provides an overview of selected research studies that examine the relationship between homelessness and academic achievement; (4) describes commonly utilized methodologies and challenges in conducting research on homeless and highly mobile populations; and (5) offers direction for further research.
Download Summary of the State of Research on the Relationship Between Homelessness and Academic Achievement Among School-Aged Children and Youth.

Other Resources

Academic Achievement Trajectories of Homeless and Highly Mobile Students: Resilience in the Context of Chronic and Acute Risk

This 2012 article, featured in the Child Development journal, examines academic achievement data across third through eighth grades (N = 26,474), comparing students identified as homeless or highly mobile (HHM) with other students in the federal free meal program (FM), reduced price meals (RM), or neither (General). Achievement was lower as a function of rising risk status (General > RM > FM > HHM). Achievement gaps appeared stable or widened between HHM students and lower risk groups. Math and reading achievement were lower, and growth in math was slower in years of HHM identification, suggesting acute consequences of residential instability. Nonetheless, 45% of HHM students scored within or above the average range, suggesting academic resilience. Results underscore the need for research on risk and resilience processes among HHM students to address achievement disparities.
Download Academic Achievement Trajectories of Homeless and Highly Mobile Students: Resilience in the Context of Chronic and Acute Risk.

Empty Seats: The Epidemic of Absenteeism Among Homeless Elementary Students

This 2015 report from the Institute for Children, Poverty, & Homelessness (ICPH), based on data on New York City public school elementary students, examines the relationship between school mobility, absenteeism, and school performance. Key findings include that homeless elementary students missed many more days of school than low-income housed students and non-low-income housed students; homeless children were chronically absent at almost twice the overall citywide rate; and school transfers greatly increase rates of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism also was correlated with higher rates of grade repetition and poor results on state assessment tests.
Download Empty Seats: The Epidemic of Absenteeism Among Homeless Elementary Students.

Frequent Residential Mobility and Young Children's Well-Being

In this 2012 study, Child Trends examines a group of children younger than six who have experienced five or more moves using nationally representative data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. They aim to understand some of the particular demographic characteristics of this group of frequent movers, as well as to see whether these children were more likely to have poor physical and/or mental health than similar children who did not experience frequent moves.
Download Frequent Residential Mobility and Young Children's Well-Being.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America's Public Schools

This report from Civic Enterprises provides unique insights into the challenges faced by homeless students and proposed strategies for addressing these challenges. Based on focus groups with and surveys of State Coordinators for Homeless Education, local homeless education liaisons, and homeless youth, the report provides an overview of existing research on homeless students, sheds light on the challenges homeless students face and the supports they say they need to succeed, reports on the challenges educators face in trying to help homeless students, and recommends changes in policy and practice to help homeless students get on a path to adult success.
Download Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America's Public Schools.

Homeless Families Research Briefs, 2014-2018

This set of research briefs from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explores issues related to the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of families and children experiencing homelessness. The briefs are based on data collected as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Family Options Study, a multi-site random assignment experiment designed to study the impact of various housing and services interventions on homeless families. Brief topics include:
  • Child Separation among Families Experiencing Homelessness
  • Hispanic Families Experiencing Homelessness
  • Patterns of Benefit Receipt among Families who Experience Homelessness
  • Child and Partner Transitions among Families Experiencing Homelessness
  • Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness
  • Adolescent Well-Being after Experiencing Family Homelessness
  • Are Homeless Families Connected to the Social Safety Net? 
    Visit the Homeless Families Research Briefs, 2014-2018 webpage.

Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America

This brief from Voices of Youth Count Initiative at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago is the first in a series of Research-to-Impact briefs by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago on understanding and addressing youth homelessness. The brief highlights results from a national survey on unaccompanied youth homelessness in America. The study captures youth homelessness broadly, including sleeping on the streets, in shelters, running away, being kicked out, and couch surfing. Significantly, the lack of a high school diploma or GED correlates more strongly than any other risk factor with experiences of youth homelessness, with young people without a diploma or GED being 3.5 times (346%) more likely to experience homelessness than their peers who completed high school. 
Visit the Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America webpage.

Residential Instability and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Education Program: What We Know, Plus Gaps in Research

This 2010 report from the Urban Institute examines the McKinney-Vento homeless education program in the Washington metropolitan region. As part of the initiative, UI reviewed the literature on how residential instability affects academic outcomes among children; collected descriptive data on the extent of homelessness in the region's schools; and convened a group of local homeless education liaisons, state coordinators, and advocates to discuss local implementation of the program and types of data collected by program staff. This brief summarizes the literature and data collected during this reconnaissance and provides questions for future research on residential instability and the McKinney-Vento EHCY program.
Download Residential Instability and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Education Program: What We Know, Plus Gaps in Research.
 
School Success in Motion: Protective Factors for Academic Achievement in Homeless and Highly Mobile Children
 
This Summer 2008 article from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota examines protective factors and intervention methods that may promote school success among homeless and highly mobile students.
Download School Success in Motion: Protective Factors for Academic Achievement in Homeless and Highly Mobile Children.

Suspension Hubs: The Rise in Suspensions Among Homeless Students
 
This 2018 report from the Institute for Children, Poverty, & Homelessness (ICPH), based on data from New York City Public Schools, examines the prevalence of school suspensions among students experiencing homelessness, and the effects of suspensions on their education.
Download Suspension Hubs: The Rise in Suspensions Among Homeless Students>.

Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research
 
On March 1-2, 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsored the second National Symposium on Homelessness Research. This publication is a compendium of the 12 papers prepared for and presented at the Symposium. Among the papers' topics are homeless families and childrenhomeless youth, and rural homelessness.
Visit the Toward Understanding Homelessness webpage.

Why They Run: An In-depth Look at America's Runaway Youth
 
This 2010 report and its accompanying resources from the National Runaway Switchboard provides new research that sheds light on the runaway problem in America and begins to fill in the gaps of what is already known and what can be done to prevent young people from running away.
Download Why They Run: An In-depth Look at America's Runaway Youth.