Sociology, Department of


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Published in Journal of Adolescence 28:2 (April 2005), pp. 231-248; doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.02.005 Copyright © 2005 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents; published by Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Recent research on the social support networks of homeless and runaway youth suggest the social networks of runaway youth are made up largely of transient deviant peer relationships. This paper examined social network characteristics of 428 homeless and runaway adolescents from small to moderate-sized cities in four Midwestern states. We investigated size, homogeneity, and correlates of the composition of the instrumental and emotional support networks as reported by the adolescents. Results showed the networks are considerably heterogeneous, comprised of relationships from home and the street as well as family and non-related adults. Further, the composition of these networks is related to adolescent characteristics and experiences including sexual identity, abuse history, and street experience.

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