Violence in the Social Networks of Homeless Youths: Implications for Network-Based Prevention Programming

This study examined social network processes related to interpersonal violence using a sample of 360 homeless youths from Los Angeles. Results indicated that violence is pervasive among homeless youths. Consistent with previous findings, hard drug use and childhood maltreatment experiences were closely related to violence experiences. Social network analyses revealed that having a higher proportion of violence-engaged peers in a youth’s network is associated with increased risk of personal violent behavior as well as having a high k-core number within the larger overall homeless youth network. The findings have important implications for the development of violence prevention programs for homeless youths, particularly the potential for network-based programs.             

Publication Date: 
In Press
Journal Name: 
Journal of Adolescent Research
Los Angeles, California, USA