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Adolescence, Health behavior, Health promotion, Protective factor, Risk factor



  1. Taylor-Seehafer, Margaret A. PhD, RN, FNP


This article outlines several preventive health strategies for reducing the health risks of homeless youth related to emotional distress, alcohol and other drug use/abuse, risky sex, and victimization, all of which are well documented as major health risks for homeless youth living on the street. These health risks interrupt normal adolescent development and are primary obstacles to exiting the street culture and lifestyle. Research indicates that risk exposures among adolescents can be moderated and/or buffered by a focus on individual strengths and environmental protective factors such as community support and mentoring.