• Homeless youth;
  • predictor;
  • substance use

PROBLEM:  This cross-sectional study identified a number of factors that were correlated with drug-use severity among homeless youth.

METHODS:  To examine a commonly used measure of substance-use severity, the TCU Drug Screen II, in a convenience sample of 156 homeless youth, ages 15–25 from a drop-in site in Santa Monica, California.

FINDINGS:  Higher drug-use severity scores were independently related to low levels of perceived health and maladaptive coping strategies.

CONCLUSIONS:  The findings from this study are particularly relevant in that they support previous results showing that psychosocial variables are related to substance use behavior among young populations.