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Our paper, “Homelessness Experiences, Sexual Orientation, and Sexual Risk Taking Among High School Students in Los Angeles” Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health
1-26-2013

In January 2013, the Journal of Adolescent Health published our paper, “Homelessness experiences, sexual orientation, and sexual risk taking among high school students in Los Angeles” Co-authored by Jorge Montoya and Aaron Plant of Sentient Research and colleagues, the article discusses our study of homelessness experiences and sexual risk behaviors among a random sample of high school students in Los Angeles. Prior studies on homeless youth have only compared community samples of homeless youth with separate high school probability samples. Our study uses a probability sample among a single population of homeless and non-homeless adolescents to examine the association between sexual risk behavior and homelessness experiences.

The study was conducted with 1,839 high school students using a supplemental survey to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that was administered to Los Angeles high school students in 2011. We found that high school students' homelessness experiences consisted of staying in a shelter (10.4%), a public place (10.1%), and with a stranger (5.6%). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and male adolescents were more likely to experience homelessness in the past year. LGBTQ and African American adolescents were also more likely to report staying with a stranger. Compared to adolescents who stayed in shelters, adolescents who stayed with strangers and in public places were more likely to engage in unprotected sex during their last intercourse.

This study demonstrated that staying with strangers could be a particularly risky form of homelessness in regards to sexual health, and that LGBTQ and African American adolescents are more likely to experience this risky form of homelessness. These results indicate that efforts to reduce homelessness and sexual risk behaviors should take into account the specific vulnerabilities faced by these populations.

Citation:
Rice E, Barman-Adhikari A, Rhoades H, Winetrobe H, Fulginiti A, Astor R, Montoya J, Plant A, Kordic T. Homelessness Experiences, Sexual Orientation, and Sexual Risk Taking Among High School Students in Los Angeles. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2013;52(6):773-778.

See our list of published academic articles.

 
 
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