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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1992 Feb;43(2):155-9.

Psychosocial background and behavioral and emotional disorders of homeless and runaway youth.

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Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY 10962.


One hundred fifty clients of a shelter for homeless youths in New York City were interviewed to obtain information about their backgrounds and the incidence of behavioral and emotional disorder. Most of the respondents came from backgrounds characterized by severe emotional deprivation and physical or sexual abuse. Of the 140 who completed the full interview, 90 percent fulfilled DSM-III-R criteria for an emotional or behavioral disorder. Fifty-nine percent had conduct disorder, three-quarters were depressed, 41 percent had considered suicide, and more than one-quarter had attempted suicide.

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