Sexual Risk, Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Trauma Experiences of Gang-involved Homeless Youth
Year Published: 2016
Journal of Adolescence
This journal article describes a study that examined sexual risk behaviors, substance use, mental health, and trauma in a sample of 505 homeless youth with varying levels of gang involvement in the Los Angeles area. Results from a self-reported survey revealed 17 percent of the participants identified as gang members and 46 percent as gang affiliated. Among the already at-risk population of homeless youth, those identifying as gang members or affiliates had even greater risk across many health and behavioral health domains. According to the author, these findings demonstrate the need for specific interventions, such as screening for gang involvement during homeless youth services intake, considering gang histories in trauma-informed mental services, and providing specialized housing for this subpopulation.
Available for free download on the HHS Public Access website: