A large and heterogeneous sample of 364 homeless adolescents was interviewed about residential and family histories, as well as about their experiences while homeless.They were also administered a diagnostic interview and various self-report measures of emotional and behavioral functioning. Analyses were conducted to provide a better description of these youth, with a special focus on gender and age heterogeneity. Results of analyses suggested that homeless youth came from generally troubled backgrounds and had elevated rates of psychiatric disorders. For boys, their histories typically included physical abuse during childhood, physical assault on the street, and elevated rates of externalizing disorders. For girls, histories were more often marked by sexual abuse during childhood, sexual victimization on the streets, and elevated rates of internalizing disorders. Implications of these results for service delivery are discussed.
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