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CORK Bibliography: Runaways



25 citations. January 2003 to present

Prepared: June 2010



Chen XJ; Tyler KA; Whitbeck LB; Hoyt DR. Early sexual abuse, street adversity, and drug use among female homeless and runaway adolescents in the midwest. Journal of Drug Issues 34(1): 1-21, 2004. (59 refs.)

Research on homeless and runaway adolescents has shown that this population is at high risk for illicit drug use. Though sexual abuse has been widely considered in the etiology of illicit drug use, we know less about how early sexual abuse affects young people's decisions to run away, to use drugs, and to engage in other deviant behavior on the streets. Based on interviews with 361 female homeless and runaway adolescents in four midwestern states, the current study revealed a high prevalence of drug use, especially use of cocaine among youths with sexual abuse histories. Path analyses showed that early sexual abuse indirectly affected drug use on the streets via running away at an earlier age, spending more time on the street, and use of deviant strategies to survive (e.g., affiliation with deviant peers, trading sex, and use of nonsexual deviant subsistence strategies).

Copyright 2004, Journal of Drug Issues Inc.


Clatts MC; Goldsamt L; Yi H; Gwadz MV. Homelessness and drug abuse among young men who have sex with men in New York City: A preliminary epidemiological trajectory. Journal of Adolescence 28(2): 201-214, 2005. (32 refs.)

The objective of this paper is to profile the role of homelessness in drug and sexual risk in a population of young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Data are from a cross-sectional survey collected between 2000 and 2001 in New York City (N = 569). With the goal of examining the import of homelessness in increased risk for the onset of drug and sexual risk, we compare and contrast three subgroups: (1) YMSM with no history of homelessness, (2) YMSM with a past history of homelessness but who were not homeless at the time of the interview, and (3) YMSM who were currently homeless. For each group, we describe the prevalence of a broad range of stressful life events (including foster care and runaway episodes, involvement in the criminal justice system, etc.), as well as selected mental health problems (including past suicide attempts, current depression, and selected help-seeking variables). Additionally, we examine the prevalence of selected drug and sexual risk, including exposure to a broad range of illegal substances, current use of illegal drugs, and prevalence of lifetime exposure to sex work. Finally, we use an event history analysis approach (time-event displays and paired t-test analysis) to examine the timing of negative life experiences and homelessness relative to the onset of drug and sexual risk. High levels of background negative life experiences and manifest mental health distress are seen in all three groups. Both a prior experience of homelessness and currently being homeless are both strongly associated with both higher levels of lifetime exposure to drug and sexual risk as well as higher levels of current drug and sexual risk. Onset of these risks occur earlier in both groups that have had an experience of housing instability (e.g., runaway, foster care, etc.) but are delayed or not present among YMSM with no history of housing instability. Few YMSM had used drug prior to becoming homeless. While causal inferences are subject to the limitations of a cross-sectional design, the findings pose an empirical challenge to the prevailing assumption that prior drug use is a dominant causal factor in YMSM becoming homeless. More broadly, the data illustrate the complexity of factors that must be accounted for, both in advancing our epidemiological understanding of the complexity of homelessness and its relationship to the onset of drug and sexual risk among high risk youth populations.

Copyright 2005, The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents


Cuzmar I; Prestopnik J; Slesnick N. Delinquency and adolescents: What predicts delinquent behavior in primary alcohol-using runaway adolescents? (meeting abstract). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 28(5 Supplement): 100A-100A, 2004. (0 refs.)


Hemsath R; Porter N; Prestopnick J; Slesnick N. Adolescent runaway report of parental control and post treatment alcohol use. (meeting abstract). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 28(5 Supplement): 105A-105A, 2004. (0 refs.)


Johnson KD; Whitbeck LB; Hoyt DR. Substance abuse disorders among homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Drug Issues 35(4): 799-816, 2005. (29 refs.)

This paper presents lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates and comorbidity data for substance abuse disorders among homeless and runaway adolescents. Data are from baseline interviews of a longitudinal diagnostic study of 428 (187 males and 241 females) homeless and runaway adolescents aged 16 to 19 years (mean age = 17.4 year, SD = 1.05). The data were collected by full-time interviewers on the streets and in shelters in eight Midwestern cities of various populations. About two thirds (60.5) of the runaways met lifetime criteria for at least one of three substance disorders (alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse), and nearly one half (48.1%) met 12-month criteria for at least one of the disorders. Nearly all of the adolescents (93%) who met criteria for a substance disorder met criteria for at least one other mental disorder. Those factors most predictive of meeting lifetime criteria include parenting practices, experience of abuse, and association with deviant peers.

Copyright 2005, Journal of Drug Issues, Inc.


Molina BSG. High risk adolescent and young adult populations: Consumption and consequences. IN: Galanter M, ed. Recent Developments in Alcoholism. Volume 17: Alcohol Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults -- Epidemiology, Neurobiology, Prevention, Treatment. New York: Kluwer Academic, 2005. pp. 49-65. (68 refs.)

This chapter considers a number of risk factors for adolescent alcohol problems. Among the topics discussed are the following: the presence of comorbid conditions; the presence of a positive family history of alcohol problems; gay and lesbian youth; homeless and runaway youth; ethnic and racial minorities; and the presence of multiple risk factors.

Copyright 2005, Project Cork


Pollio DE; Thompson SJ; Tobias L; Reid D; Spitznagel E. Longitudinal outcomes for youth receiving runaway/homeless shelter services. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 35(5): 859-866, 2006. (33 refs.)

This research examined outcomes and use of specific types of services 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months post-discharge for a large sample of runaway/homeless youth using crisis shelter services. Data were collected for 371 runaway/homeless youth using emergency shelter and crisis services at eleven agencies across a four-state midwestern region. Outcomes were assessed for runaway behavior, family relationships, substance use, school behavior, employment, sexual behavior, and self-esteem. Additionally, the impact of services on outcomes was assessed. Findings indicated that although youth achieved a wide variety of positive outcomes 6 weeks post-discharge, there were signs of attenuation of certain outcomes by the 6 month follow-up. Service use after discharge did not demonstrate a strong impact on maintaining outcomes. The substantive findings reported here present encouraging evidence for providers of services for runaway/homeless youth. Crisis shelter services appear to facilitate broad-based short-term gains, but do not appear sufficient to maintain these gains over an extended period.

Copyright 2006, Springer


Riehman KS; Stephens RL; Schurig ML. Substance use patterns and mental health diagnosis among youth in mental health treatment: A latent class analysis. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 41(4): 363-368, 2009. (27 refs.)

This study examines patterns of substance use among youth served in systems of care, and how these patterns relate to diagnosis and other youth characteristics using latent class analysis. Results indicated a four-class solution with the four groups differing in their probabilities of reporting the use of 10 different substances. Class I was defined by high probabilities of all drug use. Class 2 had high probabilities of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and low for other drugs. Class 3 had moderate probabilities of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and low probabilities for other drugs. Class 4 had a high probability of tobacco use and no other drug use. Youth who had a mood disorder diagnosis, were male, older, White and had previously run away from home were significantly more likely to be in Class I relative to other classes. These differences have implications for prevention and treatment.

Copyright 2009, Haight-Ashbury Publishing


Slesnick N; Bartle-Haring S; Erdern G; Budde H; Letcher A; Bantchevska D et al. Troubled parents, motivated adolescents: Predicting motivation to change substance use among runaways. Addictive Behaviors 34(8): 675-684, 2009. (78 refs.)

Runaway adolescents engage in high rates of substance use and report significant family and individual problems. However, in general, adolescents report low motivation to change their substance use. Because a higher level of motivation for changing substance use is associated with greater substance abuse treatment success, identifying variables associated with motivation for change can be useful for enhancing treatment success. In this study, predictors of motivation for changing substance use were examined among 140 shelter-recruited adolescents and their parents/primary caretakers. Several findings were noteworthy. A perceived negative family environment increased parents' and adolescents' depressive symptoms, which increased adolescent's motivation to change. Also, greater severity of adolescent substance use predicted higher motivation to change. Consideration of the family environment and parent problems when addressing motivation for changing substance use among these adolescents might be important foci for motivational interventions and future research.

Copyright 2009, Elsevier Science


Slesnick N; Bartle-Haring S; Gangamma R. Predictors of substance use and family therapy outcome among physically and sexually abused runaway adolescents. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 32(3): 261-281, 2006. (74 refs.)

There is a dearth of research that examines the impact of family systems therapy on problems among sexually and/or physically abused youth. Given this void, differential outcome and predictors of substance use change were evaluated for abused, as compared with nonabused, runaway adolescents who were randomly assigned to family therapy or treatment as usual. Abused adolescents reported lower family cohesion at baseline, although both abused and nonabused adolescents showed similar substance use reductions. Utilizing hierarchical linear modeling, we found that substance use changed with change in cohesion over time. These findings link change in family functioning to change in adolescent substance use, supporting family systems theory. Findings suggest that a potent target of intervention involves focus on increasing positive communication interactions.

Copyright 2006, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy


Slesnick N; Bartle-Haring S; Glebova T; Glade A. Primary alcohol versus primary drug use among adolescents: An examination of differences. Addictive Behaviors 31(11): 2080-2093, 2006. (34 refs.)

Examination of differences between primary alcohol and drug abusing adolescents can provide valuable direction to intervention efforts, though little research in this area has been conducted. The current study compared primary alcohol and primary drug abusing runaway adolescents who were randomly assigned to family therapy or treatment as usual. Baseline differences, as well as response to treatment, were examined separately for alcohol and drug use and by gender. Although few baseline differences were found, hierarchical linear modeling indicated that alcohol and drug abusing male and female adolescents responded differently to therapy. Primary drug using males showed poorer alcohol use outcomes than did primary alcohol abusers. Specifically, alcohol use increased for primary drug using males receiving family therapy, while drug use decreased in all groups. Findings suggest that alcohol and drug use outcomes might be improved at treatment planning through consideration of client's gender and primary alcohol versus drug use.

Copyright 2006, Elsevier Science


Slesnick N; Prestopnik J. Dual and multiple diagnosis among substance using runaway youth. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 31(1): 179-201, 2005. (94 refs.)

Although research on runaway and homeless youth is increasing, relatively little is known about the diagnostic profile of runaway adolescents. The current study examined patterns of psychiatric dual and multiple diagnosis among a sample (N=226) of treatment-engaged substance-abusing youth (ages 13 to 17) who were residing at a runaway shelter. As part of a larger treatment outcome study, the youths' psychiatric status was assessed using the DSM-IV based computerized diagnostic interview schedule for children [CDISC]. The majority of the youth in our sample met criteria for dual or multiple diagnosis (60%) with many having more than one substance-use diagnosis (56%). The severity of mental-health and substance-use problems in this sample of substance-abusing runaways suggests the need for continued development of comprehensive services. The range and intensity of diagnoses seen indicates a need for greater focus on treatment development and strategies to address their multiple areas of risk.

Copyright 2005, Marcel Dekker, Inc. Used with permission


Slesnick N; Prestopnik JL. Ecologically based family therapy outcome with substance abusing runaway adolescents. Journal of Adolescence 28(2): 277-298, 2005. (66 refs.)

Runaway youth report a broader range and higher severity of substance-related, mental health and family problems relative to non-runaway youth. Most studies to date have collected self-report data on the family and social history; virtually no research has examined treatment effectiveness with this population. This study is a treatment development project in which 124 runaway youth were randomly assigned to (1) ecologically based family therapy (EBFT) or (2) service as usual (SAU) through a shelter. Youth completed an intake, posttreatment, 6 and 12 months follow-up assessment. Youth assigned to EBFT reported greater reductions in overall substance abuse compared to youth assigned to SAU while other problem areas improved in both conditions. Findings suggest that EBFT is an efficacious intervention for this relatively severe population of youth.

Copyright 2005, The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents


Slesnick N; Prestopnik JL. Office versus home-based family therapy for runaway, alcohol, adolescents: Examination of factors associated with treatment attendance. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 22(2): 21-34, 2004

There is a dearth of research examining treatment engagement and attendance among runaway youth and their families. Such research is needed in order to inform treatment providers on factors associated with engagement and maintenance of these difficult to engage families into counseling. This study examined differential treatment attendance for alcohol abusing runaway youth residing at a local shelter. A traditional office-based family systems approach, Functional Family Therapy (FFT), was compared to a non-traditional, home-based, multisystemic family therapy approach, Ecologically Based Family Therapy (EBFT). As expected, treatment engagement and attendance was significantly higher for those assigned to EBFT (N = 37) compared to FFT (N = 40). Predictors of treatment attendance (income, family chaos, externalization problems and level of youth substance use) were examined within each treatment modality. Findings suggest that home-based (compared to office-based) treatment modalities may significantly increase treatment attendance and engagement of runaway youth and their families. Non-traditional forms of treatment may need to be considered in order to best meet the needs of highly chaotic and disorganized family systems.

Copyright 2004, Haworth Press


Slesnick N; Prestopnik JL. Comparison of family therapy outcome with alcohol-abusing, runaway adolescents. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 35(3): 255-277, 2009. (91 refs.)

Treatment evaluation for alcohol problem, runaway adolescents and their families is rare. This study recruited primary alcohol problem adolescents (N = 119) and their primary caretakers from two runaway shelters and assigned them to (a) home-based ecologically based family therapy (EBFT), (b) office-based functional family therapy (FFT), or (c) service as usual (SAU) through the shelter. Findings showed that both home-based EBFT and office-based FFT significantly reduced alcohol and drug use compared with SAU at 15-month postbaseline. Measures of family and adolescent functioning improved over time in all groups. However, significant differences among the home- and office-based interventions were found for treatment engagement and moderators of outcome.

Copyright 2009, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy


Slesnick N; Tonigan JS. Assessment of alcohol and other drugs used by runaway youths: A test-retest study of the Form 90. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 22(2): 21-34, 2004

While excellent adolescent alcohol and drug screening tools are available, there are relatively few, if any, psychometrically validated measures to use in the assessment of adolescent treatment outcome. This study conducted a test-retest exercise of the Form 90 Drug and Alcohol (Form 90 DnA) to determine the stability of adolescent responses when administering the day-by-day calendar/grid approach. Homeless youth (N = 37) with alcohol, drug, or alcohol and drug abuse/ dependence combined were recruited to participate in the test-retest study. High pre-post stability in means was obtained on measures of frequency of substance use in general, and on specific measures of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana use. The findings from this paper provide support for the reliability and validity of the Form 90 for use with adolescent runaways with a substance abuse or dependence diagnosis.

Copyright 2004, Haworth Press


Thompson SJ. Factors associated with trauma symptoms among runaway/homeless adolescents. IN: Bride BE; MacMaster SA, eds. Stress, Trauma and Substance Use. New York: Routledge, 2006. (48 refs.)

Runaway/homeless youth often suffer from exposure to chronic family distress and confront numerous traumatic events that may produce symptoms of PTSD. This study evaluated runaway/homeless youth's PTSD symptoms and associated factors. Data were collected at youth emergency shelters. Ninety-eight percent of participants had elevated PTSD symptom scores. Although use of inhalants and LSD was associated with PTSD symptoms, only depression, anxiety, and dissociation, mother's ecstasy or LSD use, youth's worry about family relationships, and poor family communication predicted higher PTSD scores. Runaway/homeless youth entering emergency shelters services must be evaluated concerning trauma and associated comorbid symptoms.

Copyright 2008, Project Cork


Thompson SJ. Risk/protective factors associated with substance use among runaway/homeless youth utilizing emergency shelter services nationwide. Substance Abuse 25(3): 13 -26, 2004

Rates of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among runaway/homeless youth are substantially higher than found among American high school students. To understand the risk and protective factors associated with substance use, this study (1) assessed cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use among a national sample of runaway/homeless youth, (2) identified risk/protective factors associated with lifetime substance use, and (3) examined risk/protective factors associated with six month frequency of substance use. Unduplicated cases (n = 11,841) from the 1997 Runaway/Homeless Youth Management Information System (RHY MIS) were analyzed. Results showed that substance use levels are greater than previously reported for this population. Predictors of cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use and frequency were predominately individual youth risk factors and demographics rather than family risk factors. Providers in emergency youth shelters are in a prime position to assess substance use behaviors, as well as the associated risk factors. Provision of appropriate screening and referral to other services is essential to meet the needs of these youth.

Copyright 2004, Association for Medical Education & Research in Substance Abuse


Thompson SJ; Maccio EM; Desselle SK; Zittel-Palamara K. Predictors of posttraumatic stress symptoms among runaway youth utilizing two service sectors. Journal of Traumatic Stress 20(4): 553-563, 2007. (37 refs.)

Youth who run away often experience situations that produce symptoms of traumatic distress. This exploratory study assessed predictors of trauma symptomatology among runaway youth who had been admitted to youth emergency shelter services or juvenile detention. Findings demonstrated high levels of trauma-related symptoms for both groups. Worry about family, greater runaway episodes, and living with a father who abused alcohol/drugs significantly predicted higher posttraumatic stress symptoms in detained youth, whereas only worry about family relationships predicted higher trauma symptom scores among youth in emergency shelter care. Findings suggest distressful family life may induce complex emotional responses in youth. Although services to runaway youth must continue to focus on safe, short-term residential care, trauma issues must be acknowledged.

Copyright 2007, John Wiley & Sons


Thompson SJ; Zittel-Palamara KM; Forehand G. Risk factors for cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use among runaway youth utilizing two services sectors. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse 15(1): 17-36, 2005. (44 refs.)

The high rates of substance use among American adolescents are challenging; however, runaway youth are at particularly high-risk for substance use. Runaway youth utilizing two service sectors, emergency crisis shelters and juvenile detention centers, were recruited to evaluate differences in risk factors associated with substance use. Findings demonstrate that youth admitted to juvenile detention (n = 121) had proportionally higher levels of problem behaviors, including substance use, than youth admitted to shelter services (n = 156). Both groups of youth have significantly higher levels of substance use than national estimates. The most significant risk factor for alcohol and marijuana use among youth in both groups was using other substances. Addressing issues Of Substance abuse among runaway Youth must be a prime objective for future research and treatment for this high-risk population.

Copyright 2005, Haworth Press Inc.


Walsh SM; Donaldson RE. Invited Commentary. National Safe Place: meeting the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth. (editorial). Journal of Youth and Adolescence 39(5): 437-445, 2010. (23 refs.)

An estimated 1.6 million youth run away from home each year. While on the run, these youth are vulnerable to exploitation, victimization, increased dangers and perpetration of criminal behavior. Runaway and homeless youth are far more likely to engage in substance use and delinquent behavior, drop out of school and suffer from sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness at greater rates than the norm. Timely and direct intervention in runaway and throwaway cases is imperative to protect youth from the high risks of living on the streets. National Safe Place is an outreach and prevention program that is uniquely designed to provide immediate safety and access to services for any youth in need. In partnership with over 360 youth serving agencies and over 10,000 businesses and community organizations across the United States, the Safe Place program educates youth about alternatives to running away and homelessness and provides easily accessible links to service providers. Ongoing data collection indicates that National Safe Place has been successful in reaching endangered youth at risk of abuse, neglect or serious family problems but that expanded program models remain needed. The challenges and successes of current programming and the future of National Safe Place program expansion are discussed.

Copyright 2010, Springer


Westermeyer J; Thuras P; Waaijer A. Size and complexity of social networks among substance abusers: Childhood and current correlates. American Journal on Addictions 13(4): 372-380, 2004. (19 refs.)

The objective of this study was to identify parental, childhood, demographic, and social function factors associated with social network size and complexity among substance abusers using retrospective data regarding family and childhood history and current data regarding demographic characteristics and psychosocial function. The authors interviewed 505 voluntary patients with substance abuse at two university medical centers in Minnesota and Oklahoma with alcohol - drug programs located within departments of psychiatry. Data collection instruments included a childhood questionnaire, a demographic checklist, and two psychiatric rating scales of psychosocial function. The authors found that years of education, current residence with others, being actively occupied at work or school, and higher psychosocial function on two psychiatrist-rated scales were associated with increased social network size and complexity. Loss of mother, out-of-home placement, and runaway before age 18 were associated with smaller social networks in adulthood. Age, gender, and current marital status were not associated with social network. Regression analysis indicated that network size (i.e., the number of individuals in the network) was associated with higher psychosocial function over the last year but not over the last two weeks, whereas network complexity (ie, the number of subgroups in the network) was related to psychosocial function over both the last year and the last two weeks. These data indicate that in addicted persons, both childhood factors and current social factors affect network size and complexity. Network complexity may be amenable to short-term change, whereas network size may be more related to longer-term coping.

Copyright 2004, American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions


Whitbeck LB; Johnson KD; Hoyt DR; Cauce AM. Mental disorder and comorbidity among runaway and homeless adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health 35(2): 132-140, 2004. (33 refs.)

Purpose: To investigate prevalence of mental disorder and comorbidity among homeless and runaway adolescents in small to medium sized cities in four Midwestern states. Methods: The study presents lifetime, 12-month prevalence, and comorbidity rates for five mental disorders (conduct disorder, major depressive episode, posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse) based on UM-CIDI and DISC-R structured interviews from the baseline interviews of a longitudinal diagnostic study of 428 (187 males; 241 females) homeless and runaway adolescents aged 16-19 years (mean age = 17.4 years, SD = 1.05). The data were collected by full-time street interviewers on the streets and in shelters in eight Midwestern cities of various populations. Separate logistic regression models were used to investigate factors associated with meeting criteria for any disorder and two or more disorders. Results: Lifetime prevalence rates were compared with rates for same-aged respondents from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS). Homeless and runaway adolescents were six times more likely than same-aged NCS respondents to meet criteria for two or more disorders and were from two to 17 times more likely to meet criteria for individual disorders than. Conclusions: Homeless and runaway adolescents in small and mid-sized Midwestern cities report significant levels of mental disorder and comorbidity that are comparable and often exceed that reported in studies of larger magnet cities.

Copyright 2004, Society for Adolescent Medicine


Woods ER; Samples CL; Melchiono MW; Harris SK. Boston HAPPENS Program: HIV-positive, homeless, and at-risk youth can access care through youth-oriented HIV services. Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases 14(1): 45-53, 2003

The Boston HAPPENS Program is a collaborative network of care consisting of multiservice outreach agencies; community health centers; and hospitals for HIV-positive, homeless, and hard-to-reach youth. In four years of data collection, the program served more than 2,000 youth, including 54 HIV-positive youth. The youth were 19.9 +/- 2.9 years old; 64 percent female; 45 percent youth of color; 11 percent gay/lesbian, bisexual, or undecided; and 13 percent homeless or runaway. Homeless youth were much more likely to have been involved with a mental health system (47% vs. 12%, P < 0.001), the criminal justice system (20% vs. 2%, P < 0.001), high-risk sexual behaviors (21% vs. 3%, P < 0.001), and substance abuse (25% vs. 6%, P < 0.001) than were other youth served by the program. Comprehensive networks of care offering a continuum of services and a variety of entry routes and types of care sites are needed to connect under-served youth to health care. Outreach and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing services can offer important portals of entry into health services for at-risk youth. Support services such as outreach, case management, and mental health services are needed to complement medical services by all youth at-risk for contracting HIV. Support services are necessary for the initiation and retention of youth in care so that early case identification and complex treatment regimens can be initiated and tailored to the individual.

Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science


Yoder KA; Whitbeck LB; Hoyt DR. Gang involvement and membership among homeless and runaway youth. Youth & Society 34(4): 441-467, 2003. (58 refs.)

The present study documented the extent of gang involvement and gang membership in a sample of 602 homeless and runaway youth from four midwestern states. The study also compared gang members, gang-involved youth who were not members, and nongang youth on several dimensions including sociodemographic characteristics, family background, school experiences, street experiences and exposure, emotional problems, alcohol and drug use, and other delinquent and deviant behaviors. Findings indicated that a significant number of these youth were gang members (15.4% of the sample) or involved in gangs (32.2% of the sample). Youth gang members and gang-involved youth reported more family legal problems, had been suspended from school more, ran away at a younger age, used more alcohol and drugs, were exposed to more deviant peers, and attempted suicide more than did nongang youth. In addition, youth gang members reported less parental monitoring, more severe abuse, more street victimization, and more deviant subsistence strategies than did either gang-involved or noninvolved youth.

Copyright 2003, Sage Publications, Inc