Explaining homeless youths' criminal justice interactions: Childhood trauma or surviving life on the streets?

Jamie Rae Yoder, Kimberly Bender, Sanna J. Thompson, Kristin Ferguson-Colvin, Badiah Haffejee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Homeless youth are at increased risk for involvement in the criminal justice system. This study investigated childhood trauma as a risk factor for arrest or jail among a sample of youth seeking services at drop in, shelter, and transitional housing settings, while controlling for more established risk factors including: substance use, peer deviance, and engagement in survival behaviors. Standardized and researcher developed measures collected quantitative data through face-to-face interviews with youth (N = 202). Two sequential logic regression models identified significant predictors of arrest and jail, with a particular interest in the effects of childhood maltreatment. Youth with a history of physical abuse were nearly twice as likely to be arrested and to be jailed compared to non-abused youth, controlling for the significant influence of drug use and survival behaviors. These findings suggest the need for trauma screening and trauma-informed services for homeless youth at risk of illegal behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Homeless Youth
Criminal Law
trauma
justice
childhood
Wounds and Injuries
interaction
Risk-Taking
Research Personnel
maltreatment
Interviews
deviant behavior
drug use
abuse
housing
Pharmaceutical Preparations
regression
interview

Keywords

  • Criminal justice system
  • Homeless youth
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Explaining homeless youths' criminal justice interactions : Childhood trauma or surviving life on the streets? / Yoder, Jamie Rae; Bender, Kimberly; Thompson, Sanna J.; Ferguson-Colvin, Kristin; Haffejee, Badiah.

In: Community Mental Health Journal, Vol. 50, No. 2, 02.2014, p. 135-144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yoder, Jamie Rae ; Bender, Kimberly ; Thompson, Sanna J. ; Ferguson-Colvin, Kristin ; Haffejee, Badiah. / Explaining homeless youths' criminal justice interactions : Childhood trauma or surviving life on the streets?. In: Community Mental Health Journal. 2014 ; Vol. 50, No. 2. pp. 135-144.
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