Substantial differences in risk behaviors of homeless youth in two large networks of homeless youth in los angeles
Method: Using an event based approach to social network data collection, two large networks of youth were collected. Youth nominated an unrestricted set of personal network ties, from which the sub-set of agency-engaged youth connections were derived to create the networks. Chi-square and t test statistics were used to examine differences between the “Beach” network the Hollywood network. Results: The two sociometric networks were quite different along several dimensions. More youth in Hollywood were African American, Latino or mixed race/ethnicity, female, had histories of foster care involvement, and were actively caring for children relative to beach youth. Beach youth evidenced significantly more lifetime and recent substance use, more lifetime sexual partners, less HIV and STI testing, and less use of housing and medical social services.
Conclusions: HIV prevention needs for homeless youth networks can vary widely even within a single metropolitan area. What is normative in one network may not be normative in another. We suggest intervention strategies for different network types.
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify how engagement with different social networks of homeless youth is associated with HIV risk-taking behaviors of homeless youth.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Homelessness
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor in a school of social work
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.