Why Do Adolescents Run Away?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(2), 112–113. Reviews the book, The Social Psychology of Runaways by Tim Brennan, David Huizinga, and Delbert S. Elliott (see record 1979-21259-000). Two major cross-sectional studies of adolescents contributed to the research presented in this book. The complex empirical results are presented in chapters dealing with runaway behavior, family relationships, the role of the school, peer interactions, and personal attributes of runaways. Although the family appears to be a major factor associated with runaway behavior, peer factors, the school situation, and personal attributes were also found to be of importance. The book is insightful and potentially of great importance, but it has several limitations. One might question the authors tendency to make causal inferences based on cross-sectional data; longitudinal studies would have been better for this purpose. In conclusion, this informed theoretical and empirical study of runaway behavior exemplifies the merits of the personsituation interaction approach, and provides for the specialist new techniques. The book should be of interest not only to those who have to deal specifically with runaways, but to all researchers who are interested in adolescent development and problem behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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