Homeless youth are at increased risk for involvement in the criminal justice system. This study investigated childhood trauma as a risk factor for arrest or jail among a sample of youth seeking services at drop in, shelter, and transitional housing settings, while controlling for more established risk factors including: substance use, peer deviance, and engagement in survival behaviors. Standardized and researcher developed measures collected quantitative data through face-to-face interviews with youth (N = 202). Two sequential logic regression models identified significant predictors of arrest and jail, with a particular interest in the effects of childhood maltreatment. Youth with a history of physical abuse were nearly twice as likely to be arrested and to be jailed compared to non-abused youth, controlling for the significant influence of drug use and survival behaviors. These findings suggest the need for trauma screening and trauma-informed services for homeless youth at risk of illegal behavior.
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is the largest national research institute devoted to homelessness in Canada. The COH is the curator of the Homeless Hub.
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The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is the largest national research institute devoted to homelessness in Canada. The COH is the curator of the Homeless Hub.Canadian Observatory on Homelessness