Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 48–58 | Cite as

Adolescent Homelessness and Associated Features: Prevalence and Risk Across Eight States

  • J. J. CutuliEmail author
  • Dan Treglia
  • Janette E. Herbers
Original Article


This study utilizes data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to estimate the prevalence of adolescent homelessness and relations to five indicators of poor functioning among students attending public high school in eight states. About 3.27% of students experienced homelessness, and nearly 7% of teens who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) experienced homelessness. Homelessness was related to higher rates of sexual/dating violence as well as having been bullied and feeling unsafe at school. Homelessness and LGB identification predicted higher rates of more-severe problems with alcohol, hard drug use, poor grades, suicidality, and risky sexual behavior, controlling for other factors. There was no interaction effect between homelessness and LGB status, suggesting that these risks are additive.


Adolescent and youth homelessness Sexual minority Alcohol problem Substance use Suicidality 



We would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state education authorities, and other stakeholder groups that granted permission for these data to be analyzed. Gratitude to Joe Willard of People’s Emergency Center for his continued dedication to the YRBS as a tool to inform youth homelessness. The interpretations expressed in this manuscript reflect those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by any of the agencies listed above.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRutgers University – CamdenCamdenUSA
  2. 2.School of Social Policy and PracticeUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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