Personal and family distress in homeless adolescents

Mark R. Dadds*, David Braddock, Simone Cuers, Amanda Elliott, Adrian Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has indicated that homeless children exhibit high rates of behavioral and emotional problems and come from families characterised by conflict and rejection. Further, some evidence exists to show that family variables may relate to adolescent distress differently for homeless males and females. In this study, 117 homeless adolescents were compared to a sample of non-homeless youths on the self reported incidence of personal and family problems. The homeless children reported the highest incidence of all behavioral and emotional problems, parental marital discord, overprotection, and the lowest levels of parental care and acceptance. Sex effects were not evident in reported levels of personal or family problems. However, substantially more variance in the adolescents level of behavioral and emotional disturbance was predictable from family measures for females than males. Overall, the results point to the importance of incorporating family distress models in the understanding and remediation of adolescent homelessness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes


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