Cross-National Variations in Behavioral Profiles Among Homeless Youth

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Abstract

Cross-national comparisons of homeless youth in Melbourne, Australia, and Los Angeles, CA, United States were conducted. Newly (n = 427) and experienced (n = 864) homeless youth were recruited from each site. Compared to Australia, homeless youth in the United States were younger, more likely to be in school or jail, demonstrated fewer sexual and substance use risk acts, fewer suicidal acts, and reported less need for social services. Across sites, experienced homeless youth were more likely to be older, male, engage in sexual and substance use, report greater need for social services, and make greater use of work, substance use, and health-related services. Homeless youth have different behavioral profiles in Australia and the United States, reflecting differences in the effectiveness of service systems in the two countries in keeping youth with fewer problems out of homelessness.

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