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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2006): Homelessness - Overseas

Pathways to youth homelessness

C. Martijn and L. Sharpe
Social Science and Medicine, vol.62, 2006, p.1-12

Study explored the life experiences of a group of young people in Australia to identify pathways leading to homelessness.  Four factors leading to homelessness were identified:  drug and alcohol abuse, psychopathology, early childhood trauma (including sexual and physical abuse), and family problems.  Homeless youth were shown to have experienced a number of difficulties in combination, rather than one problem increasing in severity over time.  Once homeless, the young people tended to develop additional psychological and/or drug problems and a sizeable proportion turned to crime to support their basic needs or their drug habit.

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