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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Risk/protective Factors Associated With Substance Use Among Runaway/homeless Youth Utilizing Emergency Shelter Services Nationwide
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Rates of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among runaway/homeless youth are substantially higher than found among American high school students. To understand the risk and protective factors associated with substance use, this study (1) assessed cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use among a national sample of runaway/homeless youth, (2) identified risk/protective factors associated with lifetime substance use, and (3) examined risk/protective factors associated with six month frequency of substance use. Unduplicated cases (n = 11,841) from the 1997 Runaway/ Homeless Youth Management Information System (RHY MIS) were analyzed. Results showed that substance use levels are greater than previously reported for this population. Predictors of cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use and frequency were predominately individual youth risk factors and demographics rather than family risk factors. Providers in emergency youth shelters are in a prime position to assess substance use behaviors, as well as the associated risk factors. Provision of appropriate screening and referral to other services is essential to meet the needs of these youth. (Authors)
Journal
2005
Substance Abuse
25
3
13-26