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NCJ Number: 209238 Find in a Library
Title: Deviant Behavior and Victimization Among Homeless and Runaway Adolescents
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:16  Issue:11  Dated:November 2001  Pages:1175-1204
Author(s): Les B. Whitbeck; Dan R. Hoyt; Kevin A. Yoder; Ana Mari Cauce; Matt Paradise
Date Published: November 2001
Page Count: 30
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects of engagement in deviant subsistence strategies on the risk of victimization among runaway and homeless adolescents.
Abstract: Previous research on victimization risk among adolescents has focused on exposure to risk or on the link between involvement in deviant behaviors and exposure to risk. Runaway and homeless adolescents are prone to having both a history of abuse and engagement in deviant behaviors, theoretically raising their risk of victimization above what would be expected among adolescents without these challenges. The current study examined the effects of caregiver abuse and reliance on deviant subsistence strategies among a sample of 974 homeless and runaway adolescents drawn from multiple sites in Seattle and across the Midwest. Interview and questionnaire data probed the use of sexual and non-sexual deviant subsistence strategies, history of family abuse, sexual orientation, background variables such as age at first runaway, history of drug and alcohol use, social support networks, affiliation with deviant peers, and physical and sexual victimization experiences. Results of statistical analyses indicated that engagement in nonsexual deviant subsistence strategies increased the likelihood of victimization by more than two times and engagement in sexual deviant subsistence strategies increased the likelihood of sexual victimization by almost four times. These results remained significant after controlling for history of abuse, street behaviors, sexual orientation, and informal support systems. Life course developmental theories and lifestyle exposure theories are used to interpret the findings. Implications for intervention include the need for safe places for homeless adolescents and the need for the criminal justice system to recognize this population as victims, not just perpetrators. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Homeless children; Victimization risk
Index Term(s): Adolescent victims; Child abuse; Runaways; Washington
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