Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Casey R. Shannon & Robyn S. Hess
Youth homelessness is a complex problem exacerbated by the lack of available information regarding the unique circumstances experienced by these adolescents and further by the fact that this population is often hidden and therefore unnoticed by the general public and researchers. In any given year in the United States, 500,000 to 1.5 million youth will run away or be told to leave their homes. Most runaways return home, but others go on to establish an intermittent or prolonged period of homelessness. The number of homeless youth is difficult to estimate, but one national survey found that 7.6% of youth (1.6 million) between the ages of 12 and 17 were homeless, with approximately 200,000 of these individuals living on the street. Regardless of the exact number, youth homelessness is a cause for concern because of the unfavorable outcomes many of these youth experience: heightened risk of involvement in delinquent activities, drug ...