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Keywords:

  • adolescent health;
  • homeless youth;
  • sexual health;
  • teen health

Abstract

This article reviews three recent studies investigating the impact of running away on adolescent females’ sexual health. There are between 500,000 and 2.8 million runaway and homeless youth in the U.S. at any point in time, and adolescent females are at increased risk as compared to males. All three studies analyzed data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and each examined a different health risk related to runaways including sexual debut, sexual assault and pregnancy. These studies show how health risks are persistent even after adolescents return home to their primary residence.