Risk Detection and Self-Protection Among Homeless Youth

Kimberly Bender, Sanna Thompson, Kristin Ferguson, Jamie Yoder, Anne Deprince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Utilizing qualitative interviews with a large sample of 145 homeless youth seeking services at homeless youth service agencies from across three U.S. cities (Los Angeles, Denver, and Austin), this study sought to explore youths' perspectives on ways in which they detect risk and protect themselves on the streets. Results indicated that youth use a combination of internal cues (affective responses) and external cues (reading people) to detect danger, although many times danger was described as undetectable. Certain contexts, includes those that were unfamiliar, difficult to escape, or involved drugs were described as most dangerous. In response to these dangers, youth employed self-protection strategies such as carrying weapons, banding together with trusted others, isolating, or seeking programing to leave the streets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-365
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk Detection and Self-Protection Among Homeless Youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this