National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Multiple Victimizations Before and After Leaving Home Associated with PTSD, Depression, and Substance Use Disorder Among Homeless Youth

Authors: 
Bender, K.,
Brown, S.M.,
Thompson, S.J.,
Ferguson, K.M.,
Langenderfer, L.
Year Published: 2015
Type: 
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Child Maltreatment
Volume: 20

Issue: 2
Abstract: 

This journal article describes a study that investigated the relationship between multiple types of childhood abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) and multiple street victimizations (robbery, physical assault, and sexual assault) and mental health outcomes (post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression, and substance abuse) among 601 homeless youth. Approximately 79 percent of the participants retrospectively reported multiple types of childhood abuse and 28 percent reported multiple types of street victimization. The authors found that each additional type of street victimization nearly doubled the youths’ odds for meeting criteria for substance abuse. Moreover, each additional type of child abuse experienced more than doubled their odds for meeting criteria for PTSD. Multiple abuses and multiple street victimizations were associated with nearly a twofold increase in meeting depression criteria. These findings suggest the need for screening, assessment, and trauma-informed services for homeless youth who have endured various forms of abuse and victimization throughout their lives. (author abstract modified)

Availability: 
Full-text article available by purchase or subscription at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1077559514562859