Propensity for violence among homeless and runaway adolescents: An event history analysis

Devan M. Crawford, Les B. Whitbeck, Dan R. Hoyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Little is known about the prevalence of violent behaviors among homeless and runaway adolescents or the specific behavioral factors that influence violent behaviors across time. In this longitudinal study of 300 homeless and runaway adolescents aged 16 to 19 at baseline, the authors use event history analysis to assess the factors associated with acts of violence over 3 years, controlling for individual propensities and time-varying behaviors. Results indicate that females, nonminorities, and nonheterosexuals were less likely to engage in violence across time. Those who met criteria for substance abuse disorders (i.e., alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse) were more likely to engage in violence. A history of caretaker abuse was associated with violent behaviors, as were street survival strategies such as selling drugs, participating in gang activity, and associating with deviant peers. Simply having spent time directly on the streets at any specific time point also increased the likelihood for violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-968
Number of pages19
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • adolescent victimization
  • adolescent violence
  • homelessness
  • runaway adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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