Adolescents Exiting Homelessness Over Two Years: The Risk Amplification and Abatement Model


Requests for reprints should be sent to Norweeta G. Milburn, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Center for Community Health, 10920 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA 90024-6521. E-mail:


The Risk Amplification and Abatement Model (RAAM) demonstrates that negative contact with socializing agents amplify risk, while positive contact abates risk for homeless adolescents. To test this model, the likelihood of exiting homelessness and returning to familial housing at 2 years and stably exiting over time are examined with longitudinal data collected from 183 newly homeless adolescents followed over 2 years in Los Angeles, CA. In support of RAAM, unadjusted odds of exiting at 2 years and stably exiting over 2 years revealed that engagement with prosocial peers, maternal social support, and continued school attendance all promoted exiting behaviors. Simultaneously, exposure to family violence and reliance on shelter services discouraged stably exiting behaviors. Implications for family-based interventions are proposed.