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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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A fifth of young Scots think about leaving home due to arguments

This news post is 10 months old

SCCR hosted a reception where it shared its work aimed at reducing levels of youth homelessness in Scotland

A national survey shows the impact conflict in the home has on young people in Scotland.

Polling by the Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR) shows that a fifth of young Scots who responded experience such intense conflict at home that they think about leaving without somewhere to go, at least once a month.

SCCR hosted a reception at Edinburgh City Chambers this week where it shared its work aimed at reducing levels of youth homelessness in Scotland. Relationship breakdown remains the primary cause of youth homelessness. Five thousand young Scots present as homeless each year, the equivalent of five high schools full of young people finding themselves without a home.

The reception launched the new report Transforming Conflict: Improving Lives. It summarises the work of the SCCR, which is grounded in early intervention, mediation and conflict resolution, and which strengthens family bonds through resources and events where families can learn to de-escalate arguments before they become so serious that young people start thinking of leaving home.

The report includes the results of a national survey of young people, their parents and carers, and the professionals who work with families in conflict. The survey of 378 people found:

  • 19% of young people have thought about leaving home due to arguments at least on a monthly basis,
  • 39% of young people and 62% of parents say that conflict at home happens at least weekly.
  • 11% of young people have left home or have been asked to leave because of family arguments,
  • 86% of parents / carers would find it helpful to deal with or manage family arguments better, with 68% of young people also agreeing
  • and SCCR asked respondents what family arguments most negatively impacted on. The top three responses were: mental health and wellbeing, confidence and relationships.

The survey gave respondents the opportunity to comment, providing a qualitative aspect to mirror the survey’s quantitative findings. Comments collected include this from a young person considering leaving home with nowhere to go: “I've had disagreements with my parents [so] that I've wanted to move out and just have my own place. It’s annoying to be treated like a child and then expected to act like an adult.”

The national survey also reveals the extent to which Covid continues to impact on families’ ability to manage conflict. Of the people who responded to the poll, 54% of young people and 70% of parents / carers felt their mental health had been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Diane Marr, senior manager for families, said: “SCCR intends to deliver and establish a continuing legacy that encourages and enables young people, parents, carers and professionals to address conflict and increase their knowledge, understanding and life-skills to create healthy, safe and loving relationships.

“With collaboration at the heart of what the SCCR does, we’re calling on other organisations to join us in creating a more resilient society in which young Scots have the opportunity and space to reach their full potential within a safe and supportive home environment.”

You can find the report here.