Academic achievement among formerly homeless adolescents and their continuously housed peers

Yvonne Rafferty, Marybeth Shinn, Beth C. Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the school experiences and academic achievement of 46 adolescents in families who experienced homelessness and 87 permanently housed adolescents whose families received public assistance. Measures taken after the homeless students were rehoused showed that both groups valued school highly and were similar in cognitive abilities assessed with the similarities subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R). Formerly homeless students had more school mobility, more grade retention, and worse school experiences by mother report and lower plans for post-secondary education by self-report. Both groups scored poorly on standardized tests of academic achievement. Homelessness was associated with further declines in achievement during the period of maximal residential disruption, but did not have effects 5 years later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Academic achievement
  • Education
  • Grade retention
  • Homeless
  • School mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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