Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Research on Adolescence 28:1 (March 2018), pp. 199–220. Published online May 31, 2017.

doi: 10.1111/jora.12326


Copyright © 2017 Kimberly A. Tyler, Rachel M. Schmitz, and Colleen M. Ray, Journal of Research on Adolescence, and Society for Research on Adolescence. Used by permission.


We employ a social stress framework, which examines the influence of multiple stressors (e.g., physical abuse, foster care placement) on an individual’s ability to function (e.g., mental well-being), to longitudinally examine the effects of stressful life events on mental health and the role of the social environment in this process among 150 homeless youth. Results revealed that numerous stressors, such as physical abuse and running away from home more frequently, were associated with greater depressive symptoms and elevated anxiety. Having mentors and family and friends from home that youth can rely on resulted in more positive social support, which subsequently lowered the risk for depressive symptoms and anxiety at wave 2.