Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Youth & Society 47:4 (2015), pp. 502–519 doi: 10.1177/0044118X12471354


Copyright © 2012 Kimberly A. Tyler and Lisa A. Melander. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission


Although previous research documents high rates of child abuse, street victimization, and substance use among homeless youth, few studies have investigated these three constructs simultaneously, and thus little is known about how various forms of victimization are uniquely associated with substance use among this population. The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship among child sexual and physical abuse, street victimization, and partner violence with substance use among 172 homeless young adults. Path analysis results revealed that males and those who reported parental drug problems were significantly more likely to have higher rates of substance use. Those who suffered more childhood physical and sexual abuse and those who experienced more types of relationship violence were more likely to report greater frequency of substance use. The intersection of various forms of victimization with substance use may have important implications for service providers working with this population.