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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

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 3/2017
Amanda Yoshioka-Maxwell, Eric Rice
Wichtige Hinweise
This study was completed with funding provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH093336). All individuals who significantly contributed to the work have been listed as authors. Portions of this study were presented orally at the Society for Social Work and Research 2014 Annual Conference.



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.


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 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.


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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