This study examines factors that contribute to depressive symptoms and to co-occurring depression, substance abuse and conduct problems among 602 runaway and homeless adolescents. The respondents were interviewed in shelters, drop-in centers, and directly on the streets in four Midwestern states (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas). Results indicate that although family-of-origin factors contribute to depressive symptoms and comorbidity among runaway and homeless adolescents, experiences and behaviors when the adolescents are on their own also have powerful effects. The authors discuss the findings from a life-course perspective focusing on mechanisms through which street experiences accentuate or amplify already high levels of psychological distress and behavioral problems among this population of young people.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology