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Journal Article

Citation

Warf CW, Clark LF, Desai M, Rabinovitz SJ, Agahi G, Calvo R, Hoffmann J. J. Adolesc. 2013; 36(6): 1205-1213.

Affiliation

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA. Electronic address: cwarf@cw.bc.ca.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2013, Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.08.013

PMID

24215967

Abstract

This study examined childhood physical or sexual abuse, involvement in dependency or delinquency systems, psychiatric hospitalization, and suicide as possible risk factors for survival sex among homeless young women. Homeless young women were found to have similarly high rates of childhood sexual abuse, dependency and delinquency systems involvement, and psychiatric hospitalization. Homeless young women involved in survival sex disclosed higher rates of attempted suicide and reported marginally higher rates of childhood physical abuse. Analysis of qualitative data showed that those engaged in survival sex were motivated primarily by desperation to meet basic needs including a place to stay, food and money, and one third mentioned that peers commonly were influential in decisions to engage in survival sex. Others were influenced by coercion (10%) or pursuit of drugs (10%). Young women engaged in survival sex generally experienced regret and shame about their experience.


Language: en

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