Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

October 2001


Published in Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research 8:3 (2001), pp. 396–415. Copyright © 2001 SAGE Publications. Used by permission.
Reprinted in Childhood: Critical Concepts in Sociology (Routledge, 2005).


This study investigated how homeless Brazilian youth experience the street and examined factors linked to positive and negative feelings about the street. An opportunity sample of 35 boys and 34 girls aged 10–18 completed a structured interview and sentence completion task aimed at eliciting open-ended responses in a standardized manner. Analyses revealed great diversity in youths’ views of the street; moreover, in analyses controlling for age and gender, youth reporting feeling positive on the street differed from those who felt negative in reasons for leaving home, family situation and daily survival. The findings support the value of the sentence completion task in exploring the subjective experiences of street youth.