Influence of traveling youth and substance use behaviors in the social networks of homeless youth

Mee Young Um, Eric Rice, Harmony Rhoades, Hailey Winetrobe, Natalie Bracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Traveling homeless youth (i.e., youth who migrate from city to city, after a short period of time) exhibit elevated levels of risky substance use behaviors compared to non-traveling youth. Using sociometric data, we examined the characteristics of homeless youth who are connected to at least one traveler and how at least one connection to travelers was associated with substance use of travelers and non-travelers. Data were collected from 386 homeless youth at two drop-in centers in Los Angeles, CA. Results indicated that, comparing to what would be expected by chance, youth who reported at least one connection to travelers were more likely to use substances, more travelers reported at least one tie to another traveler, and more substance-using travelers reported at least one tie to other substance-using travelers. Multivariate analyses revealed that binge drinking and marijuana use were associated with homeless youth reporting connections to at least one substance-using traveler. Injection drug use was associated with reporting at least one connection to an injection drug user, regardless of traveler status, once we controlled for demographic characteristics and traveler status. We suggest the need for substance-using traveler-specific services using brief one-on-one interventions to prevent further engagement in risky substance use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-47
Number of pages20
JournalNetwork Science
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Homeless Youth
Social Support
social network
Binge Drinking
Injections
Los Angeles
Cannabis
Drug Users
Multivariate Analysis
Demography
drug use
Pharmaceutical Preparations
drug

Keywords

  • homeless youth
  • social networks
  • sociometric data
  • substance use
  • travelers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Influence of traveling youth and substance use behaviors in the social networks of homeless youth. / Young Um, Mee; Rice, Eric; Rhoades, Harmony; Winetrobe, Hailey; Bracken, Natalie.

In: Network Science, Vol. 4, No. 1, 01.01.2016, p. 28-47.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Young Um, Mee ; Rice, Eric ; Rhoades, Harmony ; Winetrobe, Hailey ; Bracken, Natalie. / Influence of traveling youth and substance use behaviors in the social networks of homeless youth. In: Network Science. 2016 ; Vol. 4, No. 1. pp. 28-47.
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