OBJECTIVE: We investigated elementary school children's ability to use a variety of Likert response formats to respond to concrete and abstract items. METHODS: 111 children, aged 6-13 years, responded to 2 physical tasks that required them to make objectively verifiable judgments, using a 5-point response format. Then, using 25 items, we ascertained the consistency between responses using a "gold standard" yes/no format and responses using 5-point Likert formats including numeric values, as well as word-based frequencies, similarities to self, and agreeability. RESULTS: All groups responded similarly to the physical tasks. For the 25 items, the use of numbers to signify agreement yielded low concordance with the yes/no answer format across age-groups. Formats based on words provided higher, but not perfect, concordance for all groups. CONCLUSIONS: Researchers and clinicians need to be aware of the limited understanding that children have of Likert response formats.
Young people’s subjective experience of homelessness is constituted by particular social processes which to this point have not been explicitly theorized. This article draws on qualitative interviews with young people who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness in order to argue that homelessness carries a symbolic burden, the acknowledgement of which is crucial to understanding the process of embodied subjectivity for young people who have this experience. Popular understandings construct those who experience homelessness as irresponsible, passive and obscene. Young people are aware of this, and this knowledge has consequences for the process of subjectivity for these young people. This article draws on conceptual contributions from Bourdieu and Massumi to theorize the nature of the symbolic burden of homelessness and reflect on the issues involved in understanding the process of subjectivity in the context of this kind of inequality.