Iveta Tsenkova

Thesis title:

Realist Evaluation of a Psychosocial Substance Use Intervention for Young Adults Experiencing Housing Insecurity


Young adults between 16 and 25 living in housing insecurity are more likely to present to local authorities with mental health and physical health problems. Research into risk-taking behaviours has shown a high prevalence of substance use in this population linked to poorer accommodation outcomes compared to non-substance-using homeless people. Studies into service provision have shown that the youth homeless population encounters multiple barriers to access of services such as long waiting lists, opening hours, staff attitudes and stigma.

Reviews of substance use services show the need for research into psychosocial interventions for substance use for young homeless individuals with complex needs. Research fails to account for theoretical frameworks of the relationship between substance use and youth homelessness. Studies have highlighted the need for research into mechanisms and contexts of work of services for this population.

My thesis aims to address knowledge gaps in:

  • the theoretical models of youth homelessness substance use
  • the mechanisms of work of how psychosocial substance use interventions bring about change, for whom and under what circumstances
  • the theoretical underpinnings of substance use service development
  • engagement problems in housing and substance use services for the population. 

Social media:

Twitter: @IvetaTsenkova

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iveta-tsenkova-588724b1/

Website: https://ivetatsenkova.wordpress.com

First supervisor:

Dr Charlotte Woodhead


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health