A comparison of homeless and high-risk young adults: Are they one and the same?

Although experiencing poor parenting has been linked to high-risk behaviors and negative outcomes among different populations, very little research has been conducted on whether inadequate parenting has the same detrimental consequences for homeless and high-risk young adults. As such, this article compares homeless and marginally housed young adults to see if the associations between poor parenting (e.g. lower monitoring, neglect and physical abuse) and negative outcomes including depressive symptoms, victimization, delinquency and substance use are similar for these two groups. The sample consisted of 199 homeless and high-risk young adults from the Midwestern United States. Multivariate results revealed that childhood sexual abuse was correlated with physical and sexual victimization and delinquency among marginally housed young adults. Among homeless individuals, neglect and physical abuse were associated with physical victimization and delinquency, respectively. Caretaker monitoring was linked with delinquency and substance use among both groups. Finally, caretaker substance misuse was related positively with higher levels of substance use, but only among marginally housed individuals. The results are discussed in terms of policy implications.

Publication Date: 
122 - 129
Journal Name: 
Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies