Risk factors for trading sex among homeless young adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Although numerous homeless youth report trading sex, few studies have examined risk factors associated with trading sex and even fewer have employed multivariate analyses to examine this relationship, even though trading sex is associated with many negative health outcomes. Based on a sample of 151 homeless young adults in the midwestern United States, logistic regression analyses revealed that for each additional year of age, youth were 37% more likely to have traded sex (AOR = 1.37; 95% CI = .99-1.90). White youth were 84% less likely to have traded sex than non-white youth (AOR = .16; 95% CI = .03-.77). Furthermore, youth who had been employed full time were 80% less likely to have traded sex (AOR = .20; 95% CI = .05-.85). For every one unit increase in depressive symptoms, there was an 11% increase in the likelihood of ever having traded sex (AOR = 1.11; 95% CI = .99-1.24). Additionally, those who had friends who traded sex were approximately five times more likely to have ever traded sex themselves compared to those with no friends who had traded sex (AOR = 5.17; 95% CI = .95-28.12). Finally, youth who were propositioned to trade sex were almost five and one-half times more likely to have ever done so compared to youth who had not been propositioned (AOR = 5.45; 95% CI = 1.02-29.17). Overall, the results have important implications for the health and well-being of this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Depression
  • Friends trading sex
  • Homelessness
  • Trading sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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