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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136720 Find in a Library
Title: Homeless and Runaway Youth Mental Health Issues: No Access to the System
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health  Volume:12  Issue:7  Dated:special issue (November 1991)  Pages:576-579
Author(s): M R Kennedy
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data were obtained from a San Francisco center for homeless and runaway youth, the Larkin Street Youth Center, to assess major mental health problems faced by these youth.
Abstract: During the period from June 1, 1988, to July 1, 1989, the Center saw over 1,000 homeless and runaway youth. The average age of these youth was 16.3 years, and most came from outside San Francisco County. Self-reported intake data were evaluated for a subset of 100 individuals selected from a total of 169 clients who received long-term case management services during the study period. Females comprised 63 percent of the sample, and 68 percent were white. Most youth had been in regular education programs, and the rest in special education. The average completed grade in school was 9th grade. The most common single cause for leaving home was chronic family conflict or violence. Some teenagers left their home towns because of a lack of counseling or support related to sexual identity and sexual orientation. Most youth (79 percent) identified themselves as heterosexual. Current alcohol use was very high, with 81 percent of the sample using alcohol frequently. More than 60 percent had experienced juvenile probation intervention at some time. Almost 62 percent reported being victims of some type of familial abuse. Half the sample population was placed out of the home by a social worker or probation officer prior to running away or becoming homeless, whereas the other half had never been placed in a group home, foster home, or other institution. The responses of homeless youth in San Francisco indicate they are at risk for serious emotional and psychological problems resulting from past traumatic experiences in the home and current pressures of coping with existence on the street. Efforts of the San Francisco Homeless Youth Network to deal with these problems are noted. 7 references, 3 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Homeless children; Juvenile mental health services
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; California; Juvenile foster homes; Parent-Child Relations; Runaways; Underage Drinking
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