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14.06.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2017

International Journal of Public Health 3/2017

Exploring the impact of network characteristics on substance use outcomes among homeless former foster youth

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 3/2017
Autoren:
Amanda Yoshioka-Maxwell, Eric Rice

Abstract

Objectives

This study examined network structure differences between homeless youth with and without a history of foster care and the impact of network position and location on substance use outcomes among former foster youth specifically.

Methods

Sociometric and individual-level data were collected from a cross-sectional community-based sample (n = 814) of homeless youth from drop-in centers in Los Angeles across three points in time. To determine the structure and position of foster youth in the larger homeless network, structural variables and regressions examining the impact of network structure on substance use were calculated.

Results

Results indicated that former foster youth were more likely to have low connectivity compared to homeless youth without a history of foster care. Furthermore, the impact of structure on substance use among former foster youth varied by panel; location in the core was significantly associated with recent and lifetime rates of substance use.

Conclusions

Results highlight the need for a more in-depth understanding of the impact of network changes over time and their effect on substance use outcomes in this population.

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