Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Research on Adolescence 21 (2011), pp. 827-841; doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2011.00741.x


Copyright © 2011 Christina D. Falci, Les B. Whitbeck, Dan R. Hoyt, & Trina Rose. Published for Society for Research on Adolescence by Wiley-Blackwell. Used by permission.


This research investigates changes in social network size and composition of 351 homeless adolescents over 3 years. Findings show that network size decreases over time. Homeless youth with a conduct disorder begin street life with small networks that remain small over time. Caregiver abuse is associated with smaller emotional networks due to fewer home ties, especially to parents, and a more rapid loss of emotional home ties over time. Homeless youth with major depression start out with small networks, but are more likely to maintain network ties. Youth with substance abuse problems are more likely to maintain instrumental home ties. Finally, homeless adolescents tend to reconnect with their parents for instrumental aid and form romantic relationship that provide emotional support.

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