skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221386 Find in a Library
Title: Victimization and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among Runaway and Homeless Adolescents
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:22  Issue:6  Dated:2007  Pages:721-734
Author(s): Les B. Whitbeck Ph.D.; Dan R. Hoyt Ph.D.; Kurt D. Johnson Ph.D.; Xiaojin Chen Ph.D.
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH57110
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on data from baseline interviews of 426 homeless and runaway adolescents (187 boys and 241 girls) participating in a longitudinal diagnostic study, this study determined their lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated co-occurring disorders.
Abstract: The study found that approximately one-third (35.5 percent) of the runaways met lifetime criteria for PTSD, and 16.1 percent met 12-month criteria for this disorder. Just over 90 percent of the adolescents (ages 16-19) with PTSD also met criteria for at least one of the other four diagnoses (major depressive disorder, conduct disorder, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse). More than half of the male runaways (59.1 percent) who met criteria for PTSD also met criteria for alcohol and drug abuse. Approximately half of the female runaways (48 percent) with PTSD also met criteria for alcohol abuse, and 44 percent met criteria for drug abuse. Characteristics associated with having PTSD were being older, being female, having experienced serious physical abuse and/or sexual abuse from an adult caretaker, and having been assaulted or injured with a weapon when on the street. The interaction between sexual abuse by a caretaker and sexual assault after they had run away from home was statistically significant, indicating that rape victims were likely to meet criteria for PTSD regardless of whether they had experienced early sexual abuse. The high number of PTSD adolescents who are abusing alcohol and drugs warrants serious clinical attention in treatment programs. Study data were collected by full-time street interviewers on the streets and in shelters in eight midwestern cities. Various instruments were incorporated in the interviews to assess for the presence of PTSD and the other four diagnoses. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 38 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child Sexual Abuse; Homeless children; Homeless persons; Juvenile drug use; Mental disorders; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Programs for runaways; Runaways; Underage Drinking
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.