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Understanding Survivors of Abuse: Stories of Homeless and Runaway Adolescents

NCJ Number
J L Powers; B W Jaklitsch
Date Published
163 pages
This book presents the stories of maltreated homeless youth who have survived and developed a positive direction for their lives.
Part I provides a framework for understanding and interpreting the in-depth portraits that follow. It presents the latest research on the patterns and dynamics of abuse and neglect and explores their impact on adolescents, particularly runaway and homeless youth. The psychological effects discussed are depression, low self-esteem, loss of trust, anxiety, denial, problems with establishing intimacy, hopelessness about the future, and distortion of the concept of family. Behavioral effects discussed include sexual acting out, aggression, manipulation, a victimization mentality, suicide, and survivor guilt. One chapter details practical approaches for professionals to use when interviewing youths who may have been abused. In part II the survivors discuss their lives, their family backgrounds, and their experiences on the street and in the social service system. This book is useful for professionals in understanding troubled youth and what they need to survive and develop a positive direction for their lives. Chapter notes, subject index.