Sociology, Department of



Maltreatment and Victimization in Homeless Adolescents: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

Date of this Version



Published in The Prevention Researcher, Volume 11, Number 1, 2004, Pages 12-14. Available (price = $5) online at


Homelessness among adolescents is a growing concern, with 1 to 1.5 million youths in any given year spending some period of time in emergency shelters or on the streets. These vulnerable youth have been found to exhibit a host of emotional and behavioral problems including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic reactions, drug and alcohol abuse, and delinquent or aggressive behavior. We still have much to learn about the causes and maintenance of this constellation of problems. But it is quite clear that maltreatment and victimization, at home and on the streets, are implicated in these negative outcomes. Using data from two research project focused on homeless youth, one in Seattle, Washington, and the other in the Midwest, this article looks at maltreatment among youth before they leave home, their victimization while living on the street, and the links between childhood victimization in the home, and later victimization on the streets.