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Published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence 16:11 (November 2001), pp. 1175–1204; doi: 10.1177/088626001016011005 Copyright © 2001 Sage Publications; published on behalf of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Used by permission.


This study used a high-risk population of runaway and homeless adolescents to investigate the effects of history of caretaker abuse and deviant subsistence strategies on victimization among adolescents. Based on a multisite sample of 974 homeless and runaway adolescents, logistic regression models were used first to examine factors predicting involvement in sexual and nonsexual deviant subsistence strategies and then to investigate the effects of deviant subsistence strategies on physical and sexual victimization when adolescents were on the streets. Results indicated that when controlling for all other factors, including histories of physical and sexual maltreatment in families of origin, street behaviors, sexual orientation, and informal support systems, engaging in nonsexual deviant subsistence strategies increased the likelihood of physical victimization more than two times. Engaging in sexual deviant subsistence strategies increased the likelihood of sexual victimization almost four times. The results are interpreted in terms of life course developmental theory and lifestyle exposure theories.

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