Abusive family backgrounds and later victimization among runaway and homeless adolescents

Les B. Whitbeck, Danny R. Hoyt, Kevin A. Ackley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


This article reports findings from the initial phase of an ongoing study of runaway and homeless adolescents in four Midwestern states. One hundred eight homeless and runaway adolescents were interviewed directly on the streets and in shelters by outreach workers in youth services agencies. Levels of physical and sexual abuse within family of origin, participation in deviant subsistence strategies, and levels of victimization while on the streets are reported. Path analysis indicated that abusive family backgrounds had a positive direct effect on victimization of adolescents on the streets, and indirectly increased the likelihood of victimization by increasing the amount of time at risk, deviant peer associations, and risky behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-392
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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