Street youth, their peer group affiliation and differences according to residential status, subsistence patterns, and use of services

Michele D. Kipke, Jennifer B. Unger, Susan O'Connor, Raymond F. Palmer, Steven R. LaFrance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study characterizes subcultural differences within an inner-city street youth population. Variations in residential status, subsistence patterns, and service utilization according to peer group affiliation were explored. A brief structured interview was administered to 752 youth, ages 12 to 23 years, who had been living on the streets for two or more consecutive months, or who were fully integrated into the "street economy." Subjects were recruited for the study using a stratified probability sampling design, with 30% recruited from community-based service sites and 70% from street locations and at natural "hang-outs." Five street youth groups were identified: "punks/skinheads," "druggies," "hustlers," "gang members," and "loners." The results demonstrated unique patterns with respect to places stayed/slept, means of financial support and economic subsistence, and use of available services according to peer group affiliation. The implications of these findings and recommendations for future research and service provision are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-669
Number of pages15
JournalAdolescence
Volume32
Issue number127
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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