Prevalence and correlates of survival sex among runaway and homeless youth

Am J Public Health. 1999 Sep;89(9):1406-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.89.9.1406.


Objective: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of survival sex among runaway and homeless youths.

Methods: A nationally representative sample of shelter youths and a multicity sample of street youths were interviewed.

Results: Approximately 28% of street youths and 10% of shelter youths reported having participated in survival sex, which was associated with age, days away from home, victimization, criminal behaviors, substance use, suicide attempts, sexually transmitted disease, and pregnancy.

Conclusions: Intensive and ongoing services are needed to provide resources and residential assistance to enable runaway and homeless youths to avoid survival sex, which is associated with many problem behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Homeless Youth* / psychology
  • Homeless Youth* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Work* / psychology
  • Sex Work* / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology