Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Published: 2019-11-28 08:00:00
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The necessity of carrying out this study was because of the rise in the number of youths using drugs, strange sexual behaviors, and the increased number of homeless children in the society. The aim of the study was to get a comparison of the prevalence of substance abuse, high risk as a result of sexual behaviors, and the symptoms of depression existing between the homeless youths as well as those that have some history of foster care placement. This is a case-control study. The cases were drawn from a population that was keenly selected. Two groups with an already established outcome were taken. For instance, the youths that had no homes and the ones that their history was dating back to foster care. The two groups were considered to determine if the two groups had any common exposure, which may be dominant in one group than it, is in another group. It was determined that the two groups were less Educated and had an early exposure to the use of drugs.

The cases were taken from a keenly defined population. 156 children with no homes were analyzed. The study is linking the foster care youths and the homeless children with the use of substances sampled out 478 youths in the street; they found out that 51.6% of the adolescents were at one time in their lifetime under the care of foster mothers. This study was carried out in Vancouver in Canada. The study undertaken was biased, and the sample that was taken mostly consisted males and of white origin. They ensured that they were between the age of 16 and 25. Selecting older individuals that are expected to have been influenced to use drugs was easier. The outcome of the homeless youths using drugs was encouraged in the study than those not using. This was evident in the collection of data. This bias was apparent during the identification of the population to be considered. Selection of the comparison group was also influenced. It is evident that homeless youths are more likely to be involved in mental issues; they are also likely to be exposed to risky sexual behaviors as well as the use of drugs. This is because of the environment in which they are brought in which is not conducive. The homeless youths do not have people judged with the responsibility of correcting them. It is also expected that foster children are at a high risk of getting introduced to risky sexual behaviors. It is anticipated that this groups will always be at a risk of being exposed to the early use of substances. A collection of data was also biased. The only sample that was found linking the homeless youth, as well as those in the foster care, was that carried out by Martin

Elimination helped in the reduction of the impact brought about by the confounding variables done before the process of data analysis. The study selected the only male which helped in confounding by using age groups as well as sex.

Analysis of Data

The method used in data collection was quantitative. This approach is employed in data analysis, and it is mostly applied in some fields. This kind of data analysis is more reliable in data analysis than the qualitative methods. It refers to the numbers and statistics used in the process of data collection. This approach was appropriate as it can help in generation of large amounts of evidence. No other method could have been used in the analysis of data collected. The study took into consideration the numerical figures obtained in the data collection. Multivariate was used to control the confounding factors. The analysis that is stratified functions best in a way in which there is a lot of strata and a few confounders have to be monitored. If confounders are much multivariate analysis will offer the best solution

Interpretation of Data

The demographic characteristics of the overall sample both with a history of foster care and non-foster care homeless youths were tabulated. The statistics had males represented by over 70 percent. Forty-four of the one hundred and fifty-six homeless teens represented thirty percent of the children under study. This fraction of the population had a history of foster care majority being an elder at the age of between twenty to the age of twenty-five. This elderly population was concluded to be with education less than high school. Those who did not have a foster care history were the younger majority and were noted to be with high school or greater education. The majority of the foster care history homeless youths reported cases of smoking in comparison to those with the history of non-foster care. Methamphetamine was reported to be relatively higher among homeless youth with foster care history compared to the non-foster care counterparts. Inhalants, Marijuana and other drug-related behaviors including sexual practices were similar in the groups though more foster care youth had engaged in commercial sex. The placement history homeless youth traded sex for money and drugs.

The interpretation of the results is affected by biased information, biased selection, and confounding. Many comparisons are made on information from the victims who are unreliable for valid credentials. Information obtained from the majority of the youths both with foster, and non-foster history is likely to be biased. People tend to give information that will be more crediting that shaming to them. They may say something to make the researchers have empathy and pity them. The selection process was biased as well according to the statistics in the data analyzed. It is crystal clear that there was no gender balance and a huge gap separated the two groups in terms of the number. Confounding cases might have arisen from the conclusions of mental disorders, the effects of drugs and mixing up of the groups. This is likely to cause confusion in the data interpretation and analysis.

The strength of the study is the efficiency at a less cost manipulating the dynamic population of the homeless youth to get the information required for results. It was relatively easy to conduct and utilized baseline data on exposure. The study followed up the history of each child regardless of the group they belonged in and obtained data that would rather be hard and expensive top obtain through other methods.

The discussion addressed the limitations of the study inadequately stating the constraints on a shallow ground. It is stated that many drug and sex-related data had effect sizes (Aptekar & Stoecklin, 2014). To address the limitations adequately, the discussion should report all the main problems that hindered the research process. They need to show in detail all the problems that they might have faced to make them not get the exact expected results from the study. Data were not collected on the nature of foster care or number of placements. They do not give a reason for biased selection of the studied group, difficulties encountered in finding backgrounds of a diverse population and the hardships of dealing with the victims to get accurate information.

The study concludes that there is a need to provide prevention and treatment measures to the foster youths before they become homeless (Aptekar & Stoecklin, 2014). The conclusion also recommends further research on the issue to help keep in check the problems of drug abuse and poor sexual practices among the homeless youth. The findings justify this were foster care young people who became homeless recorded higher levels of substance addiction and sexual practices for money and drugs.

This study can be generalized to a larger population of the youths both under foster care and non-foster care. The majority of the young people are involved in sexual activities as well as substance abuse making them a target for study. Generalizing the greater youth population in this study would play a crucial role in saving the future. This will help reduce the effects of drugs and sexual practices.


The consequences of the study for practice involve the provision of sight to policy makers to take care of the needs of the youths with a foster family and protect them from such results observed in the study (Shukla, 2005). This study contributed largely to the literature by giving a glimpse of what is happening to the youth. It has committed to the encouragement of future research to find more permanent solutions to the existing problems. Self-Evaluation Statements

The paper is particular and maintains its focus to the subject of the study answering a specific question. It is consistent and aiming in the conveyance of information. It contains proven research and cites all the sources as well as the related literature. The paper addresses some issues and contributes to providing some better understanding of the nature of the scope at which the homeless youth are coexisting.

The criteria elements I believe to be a weakness of the paper lies in the fact that the article is incomplete in offering a solution to the problem stated and instead recommends future reference. This is because we need further research into the issue to get a more permanent solution to the problem.


Aptekar, L., & Stoecklin, D. (2014). Street children and homeless youth: A cross-cultural perspective. Dordrecht: Springer.

Shukla, P. C. (2005). Street children and the asphalt life. 3V. V1- Selection and enumeration of street children V2- Delinquent street children V3- Street children and the future direction. Delhi: Isha Books.


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