Surviving on the Street: The Experiences of Homeless Youth

Bill Mccarthy*, John Hagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


This article documents the living conditions of a sample of adolescents (N = 390) who had left home and were living on the street in Toronto, Canada The majority of these youth had spenta considerable amount of time without adequate shelter, food, or income; furthermore, many were involved in a variety of illegal activities and had been incarcerated or suicidal Multiple regression analyses revealed that the most consistent predictors of hunger, criminal activity, and incarceration were conditions of street life itself: thelack of secure shelter and the length of time on the street. Overal4 the living conditions of these youth closely parallel those of homeless adults. Although there are differences between adults and adolescents who live on the street, the similarities suggest that it may be inappropriate to label the latter runaways and to consistently separate adults and adolescents into two completely distinct homeless populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-430
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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