Is Substance Use Associated with Perpetration and Victimization of Physically Violent Behavior and Property Offences Among Homeless Youth? A Systematic Review of International Studies

Heerde, J.A.,
Hemphill, S.A.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2015
Learning Sciences Institute Australia, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Australia.
Journal Name: 
Child and Youth Care Forum
Volume: 44

Issue: 2

This is a literature review of studies that investigated the role of substance use in both the perpetration and victimization of physically violent behavior and property offenses among homeless youth. The authors also examined the types and rates of substances used. After conducting a comprehensive, systematic search of 12 psychology, health, and criminology electronic databases, the authors found nine studies (five from the U.S. and four from Canada) that met their inclusion criteria. The review indicated that alcohol was the most commonly used substance. However, findings were inconsistent as to whether substance use was associated with the perpetration of physically violent behavior or property offenses or the experience of physical victimization. No reviewed studies examined whether substance use was associated with the experience of property victimization. The available cross-sectional evidence, while not conclusive, suggests increased perpetration of physically violent behavior and property offenses, and increased experience of physical and property victimization when youth reported using substances. (author abstract modified)


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