Variables associated with repetitive runaway behavior
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant differences between first time and repetitive runaway residents at Avenue 15, a runaway shelter in Calgary, AB. The goal was that if one could differentiate those variables that might predict the repetitive runner, services could be targeted to direct these young people from dangers on the street. An extensive literature review is presented, data is analyzed and practical and research recommendations are outlined. Major findings are that repetitive runners differ from first time runners in regards to: length of run, involvement in illegal activities and reported experiences of sexual abuse, physical abuse and fighting with siblings. In addition, frequent repeaters most often reported not seeing their family for more than a month and were more likely to be under government care. Implications for service and practice are that frequent and firsttime runners have separate and distinct treatment requirements. This writer proposes that interventions must be viewed from an ecological perspective; community and natural support systems must be utilized; therapists must be willing to meet concrete survival needs of clients; multiple interventions are essential; there must be an acceptance that not all young people return home and thus, transitional housing and permanent placements must be provided where "permanency" is emphasized and awareness, flexibility, and openness are needed to provide young people with as many choices as possible. Further research should strive for agreement on the definition of runaway behavior; participation by professionals in related fields; use of control groups; and, additional analysis of data through school records, agency records, and police files.
Bibliography: p. 110-115.