This descriptive study of 120 girls removed temporarily from parental care during early adolescence raises questions regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of current intervention strategies. The findings suggest that clinical and legal efforts on behalf of girls such as these, who have been victims of neglect, deprivation, and abuse, are likely to remain unsatisfactory in the absence of a broad societal commitment to the needs and rights of children.
A clinico-epidemiological study involved children and adolescents with a history of home abandoning and tramping who live in two administrative districts of a big city. The study was aimed at investigating the prevalence of the dromomania syndrome in the children and adolescents of the given districts, the specification of the nosological and syndromal characteristics of the patients, and eliciting the etiopathogenetic role of various factors (social, communal and biological) in the formation of this syndrome. The findings obtained are indicative of the prevalence of the dromomania syndrome in children and adolescents and of the proportion of various forms of psychic pathology in this patient population. The significance of various factors in the etiopathogenesis of the syndrome was found to vary in different nosological forms.
This article examines the literature on runaways from an historical perspective. It argues that societal responses to runaways have been structured by the prevailing assumptions about the nature and meaning of runaway behaviour. The recurring theme of detachment and connection is highlighted and its implication for policy development is examined.
Based on information provided by 149 runaways staying in a Canadian shelter, the authors developed a model that explains repititious running away as the result of youths' cognitive confusion and unrealistic beliefs. The majority of the youths, who had run away an average of 8.9 times, felt that the events that led them to run away were unpredictable, yet 54 percent blamed only themselves for what happened. The paper describes the pathways, cycles, and outcomes of running away; analyzes the relationship between the youths' experiences with prostitution, delinquency, and sexual and physical abuse and the length of time they had been away from home; summarizes the youths' reasons for running away; compares the beliefs of runaways with and without a history of sexual abuse; and discusses interventions.
The association between presumed protective factors and social risk factors for hospitalization and mortality was studied during a 14-year follow-up period in a cohort of 8,168 Swedish men aged 18-20 years at baseline. Using Cox regression analysis, the authors found that five protective factors (high social class, home well-being, school well-being, good emotional control, and self-perceived good health) were associated with lower risks of hospitalization and death. Four social risk factors (contact with police or child welfare authorities, running away from home, having divorced parents, and ever using narcotics) were significantly associated with increased risk of hospitalization and mortality. The relative hazard decreased with the number of protective factors and increased with the number of social risk factors, almost linearly. The relative hazard was 0.24 for hospitalization among those with six protective factors and 0.24 for mortality for those with five or six protective factors. The relative hazard for hospitalization was 3.09 among those with five social risk factors compared with those with none, while for mortality the relative hazard among those with four or five social risk factors was 5.74 compared with those with none. While these results indicate strong cumulative effects for both the social risk factors and the protective factors, the associations of individual factors with the two outcome measures were generally reduced in models which simultaneously adjusted for all factors, which presumably indicates collinearity among the factors. There was only limited support for a buffering, or interacting, effect between the risk factors and the protective factors.
This paper examines the relationship between social policy and the phenomenon of runaways and their health. Through an exploration of the literature and reference to empirical studies, including the author's own work, it provides background and establishes the relationship between being in care and running. Assumptions which guide social policy as well as the service delivery itself provide an explanation for the runaway--child welfare connection. The paper concludes with discussion of the implications and recommendations for a policy shift with respect to services for adolescents.
This study examines the relationship between two explanatory factors connected to the phenomena of runaways and the homeless among adolescents: behavioral problems of youths and parental violence to which they are subjected. The study demonstrates that these two factors are independently related to the different categories of homeless and runaway adolescents.
The data was collected from 130 adolescents (12 to 17 years of age) who were runaways for short periods on a recurring basis. Two subgroups were formed: Group A consisted of 79 adolescents who did not exhibit behavioral problems; Group B consisted of the other 51 who did exhibit them. The two groups had certain similar family characteristics (income levels, parents' occupations, structure and stability of the family).
The bivariate analyses reveal significant differences between the two groups of runaways relating to: (1) gender, (2) a diagnosed conduct disorder, (3) affiliations with deviant peers, and (4) experiences of parental violence. The discriminant analysis demonstrates that these four variables clearly differentiate the two groups of runaways and predict the appropriate group membership for 84% of the cases. Therefore, the members of Group B have a higher probability of being diagnosed as having a conduct disorder, being male, and associating with delinquent peers. This group had not experienced a higher level of parental violence. The opposite is true for the members of Group A.
Our study demonstrates that parental violence and behavioral problems are variables that are independently related to the defined categories of runaways. Therefore, these variables do not constitute, as some thinkers have claimed, the components of a unique dynamic able to explain the phenomenon of the runaway. Our results vitiate the doubts sometimes expressed by researchers about the importance of parental violence to the phenomenon of adolescent runaways.