Advertisement

Revitalizing Profiles of Runaways: A Latent Class Analysis of Delinquent Runaway Youth

  • Michelle N. Jeanis
  • Bryanna H. Fox
  • Caitlyn N. Muniz
Article
  • 14 Downloads

Abstract

Many runaway youth experience an overabundance of negative life events before, during, and after running away from caregivers. In order to better understand, prevent, and treat adolescent runaways based upon the unique experiences they endure, researchers have created typologies of runaway youth. Building on previous research, this study developed a statistical typology of runaway youth offenders using a sample of 29,204 runaway youth referred to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Based upon key predictors and features of adolescent runaways including abuse, trauma, antisocial peers, delinquency, mental illness, school problems, and more, a series of latent class analysis models indicate that five sub-types of runaways exist within three larger behavioral/feature domains. These results suggest that runaways are a heterogeneous group with highly unique experiences and risk factors that occur before and after the runaway experience. In addition, grouping of runaways based solely upon motivation, individual characteristics, victimization, or offending is too narrow of a perspective.

Keywords

Runaways Latent class analysis Typology Profile Youth offenders 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ) for the continued support and opportunity to work together on research aimed at helping young people achieve a safe, healthy, and prosperous future.

References

  1. Baglivio, M. T. (2009). The assessment of risk to recidivate among a juvenile offending population. Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(6), 596–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baglivio, M. T., & Jackowski, K. (2013). Examining the validity of a juvenile offending risk assessment instrument across gender and race/ethnicity. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 11(1), 26–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey, S. L., Camlin, C. S., & Ennett, S. T. (1998). Substance use and risky sexual behavior among homeless and runaway youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23(6), 378–388.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Baird, C., Healy, T., Johnson, K., Bogie, A., Dankert, E. W., & Scharenbroch, C. (2013). A comparison of risk assessment instruments in juvenile justice. Madison: National Council on Crime and Delinquency.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, A. J., McKay, M. M., Lynn, C. J., Schlange, H., & Auville, A. (2003). Recidivism at a shelter for adolescents: First-time versus repeat runaways. Social Work Research, 27(2), 84–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Benoit-Bryan, J. (2011). The runaway youth longitudinal study. Chicago: National Runaway Switchboard.Google Scholar
  7. Berger, I., & Schmidt, R. (1958). Results of child psychiatric and psychological investigations of spontaneous and reactive runaways. Praxis Kinderpsychology Kinderpsychiatry, 7, 206–210.Google Scholar
  8. Brennan, T. (1975). The incidence and nature of runaway behavior. Final Report.Google Scholar
  9. Brennan, T. (1980). Mapping the diversity among runaways: A descriptive multivariate analysis of selected social psychological background conditions. Journal of Family Issues, 1(2), 189–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brennan, T., Huizinga, D., & Elliott, D. S. (1978). The social psychology of runaways. Lexington: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  11. Cauce, A. M., Paradise, M., Ginzler, J. A., Embry, L., Morgan, C. J., Lohr, Y., & Theofelis, J. (2000). The characteristics and mental health of homeless adolescents: Age and gender differences. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(4), 230–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chapple, C. L., Johnson, K. D., & Whitbeck, L. B. (2004). Gender and arrest among homeless and runaway youth: An analysis of background, family, and situational factors. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 2(2), 129–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen, X., Thrane, L., & Adams, M. (2012). Precursors of running away during adolescence: Do peers matter? Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22(3), 487–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, X., Thrane, L., Whitbeck, L. B., Johnson, K. D., & Hoyt, D. R. (2007). Onset of conduct disorder, use of delinquent subsistence strategies, and street victimization among homeless and runaway adolescents in the Midwest. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22(9), 1156–1183.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Clark, S., & Muthén, B. (2009). Relating latent class analysis results to variables not included in the analysis. Retrieved from https://www.statmodel.com/download/relatinglca.pdf.
  16. Courtney, M. E., & Zinn, A. (2009). Predictors of running away from out-of-home care. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(12), 1298–1306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crawford, D. M., Whitbeck, L. B., & Hoyt, D. R. (2011). Propensity for violence among homeless and runaway adolescents: An event history analysis. Crime & Delinquency, 57(6), 950–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crosland, K., & Dunlap, G. (2015). Running away from foster care: What do we know and what do we do? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(6), 1697–1706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dedel, K. (2006). Juvenile runaways. US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.Google Scholar
  20. Dunford, F. W., & Brennan, T. (1976). A taxonomy of runaway youth. Social Service Review, 50(3), 457–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Durso, L. E., & Gates, G. J. (2012). Serving our youth: Findings from a national survey of service providers working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. Los Angeles: The Williams Institute with True Colors Fund and The Palette Fund.Google Scholar
  22. Edinburg, L. D., Harpin, S. B., Garcia, C. M., & Saewyc, E. M. (2013). Differences in abuse and related risk and protective factors by runaway status for adolescents seen at a U.S. Child advocacy centre. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 1(1), 4–16.Google Scholar
  23. English, C. J. (1973). Leaving home: A typology of runaways. Society, 10(5), 22–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Famularo, R., Kinscherff, R., Fenton, T., & Bolduc, S. M. (1990). Child maltreatment histories among runaway and delinquent children. Clinical Pediatrics, 29(12), 713–718.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Fox, B. H., & DeLisi, M. (2017). From criminological heterogeneity to coherent classes: Developing a typology of juvenile sex offenders. Youth Violence & Juvenile Justice, 16(3), 299–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fox, B. H., & Farrington, D. P. (2012). Creating burglary profiles using latent class analysis: A new approach to offender profiling. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39(12), 1582–1611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Francis, B., Barry, J., Bowater, R., Miller, N., Soothill, K., & Ackerley, E. (2004). Using homicide data to assist murder investigations (Home Office Online Report 26/04), UK.Google Scholar
  28. Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Greene, J. M., Ennett, S. T., & Ringwalt, C. L. (1997). Substance use among runaway and homeless youth in three national samples. American Journal of Public Health, 87(2), 229–235.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Guest, K. M., Baker, A. J., & Storaasli, R. (2008). The problem of adolescent AWOL from a residential treatment center. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 25(4), 289–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hammer, H., Finkelhor, D., & Sedlak, A. J. (2002). Runaway/thrown away children: National estimates and characteristics. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  32. Haynie, D. L., Petts, R. J., Maimon, D., & Piquero, A. R. (2009). Exposure to violence in adolescence and precocious role exits. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(3), 269–286.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Healey, J., Beauregard, E., Beech, A., & Vettor, S. (2016). Is the sexual murderer a unique type of offender? A typology of violent sexual offenders using crime scene behaviors. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 28(6), 512–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Homer, L. E. (1973). Community-based resources for runaway girls. Social Casework, 54(8), 473–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hoyt, D. R., Ryan, K. D., & Cauce, A. M. (1999). Personal victimization in a high-risk environment: Homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 36(4), 371–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Johnson, K. D., Whitbeck, L. B., & Hoyt, D. R. (2005). Substance abuse disorders among homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Drug Issues, 35(4), 799–816.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Jones, L. P. (1988). A typology of adolescent runaways. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 5(1), 16–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kaufman, J. G., & Widom, C. S. (1999). Childhood victimization, running away, and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, 36(4), 347–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Keller, T. E., Cusick, G. R., & Courtney, M. E. (2007). Approaching the transition to adulthood: Distinctive profiles of adolescents aging out of the child welfare system. Social Service Review, 81(3), 453–484.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Keuroghlian, A. S., Shtasel, D., & Bassuk, E. L. (2014). Out on the street: A public health and policy agenda for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who are homeless. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(1), 66–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Kim, H., Chenot, D., & Lee, S. (2015). Running away from out-of-home care: A multilevel analysis. Children & Society, 29(2), 109–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kim, M. J., Tajima, E. A., Herrenkohl, T. I., & Huang, B. (2009). Early child maltreatment, runaway youths, and risk of delinquency and victimization in adolescence: A mediational model. Social Work Research, 33(1), 19–28.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Levy, E. Z. (1972). Some thoughts about patients who run away from residential treatment and the staff they leave behind. Psychiatric Quarterly, 46(1), 1–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Maynard, B. R., Salas-Wright, C. P., Vaughn, M. G., & Peters, K. E. (2012). Who are truant youth? Examining distinctive profiles of truant youth using latent profile analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(12), 1671–1684.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. McCaskill, P. A., Toro, P. A., & Wolfe, S. M. (1998). Homeless and matched housed adolescents: A comparative study of psychopathology. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 27(3), 306–319.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. McIntosh, A., Lyons, J. S., Weiner, D. A., & Jordan, N. (2010). Development of a model for predicting running away from residential treatment among children and adolescents. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 27(4), 264–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Meltzer, H., Ford, T., Bebbington, P., & Vostanis, P. (2012). Children who run away from home: Risks for suicidal behavior and substance misuse. Journal of Adolescent Health, 51(5), 415–421.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Moskowitz, A., Stein, J. A., & Lightfoot, M. (2013). The mediating roles of stress and maladaptive behaviors on self-harm and suicide attempts among runaway and homeless youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(7), 1015–1027.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Muthén, B., & Muthén, L. K. (2000). Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analyses: Growth mixture modeling with latent trajectory classes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 24(6), 882–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Orten, J. D., & Soll, S. K. (1980). Runaway children and their families a treatment typology. Journal of Family Issues, 1(2), 249–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pratt, T. C., & Cullen, F. T. (2000). The empirical status of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime: A meta-analysis. Criminology, 38(3), 931–964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Robey, A. (1964). The runaway girl. In O. Pollack & A. Friedman (Eds.), Family Dynamics and Female Sexual Delinquency (pp. 121–132). Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.Google Scholar
  53. Roesch, S. C., Villodas, M., & Villodas, F., Pears, et al. (2010). Latent class/profile analysis in maltreatment research: A commentary on Nooner et al. and looking beyond. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34(3), 155–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rohr, M. E., & James, R. (1994). Runaways: Some suggestions for prevention, coordinating services, and expediting the reentry process. The School Counselor, 42(1), 40–47.Google Scholar
  55. Rotheram-Borus, M. J. (1993). Suicidal behavior and risk factors among runaway youths. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 150(1), 103–107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Ryan, J. P., Williams, A. B., & Courtney, M. E. (2013). Adolescent neglect, juvenile delinquency and the risk of recidivism. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 42(1), 454–465.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Sanchez, R. P., Waller, M. W., & Greene, J. M. (2006). Who runs? A demographic profile of runaway youth in the United States. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39(5), 778–781.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Schwalbe, C. S. (2007). Risk assessment for juvenile justice: A meta-analysis. Law and Human Behavior, 31(5), 449–462.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Shellow, R., Schamp, J. R., Liebow, E., & Unger, E. (1967). Suburban runaways of the 1960’s. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 32, 1–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Skeem, J. L., Scott, E., & Mulvey, E. P. (2014). Justice policy reform for high-risk juveniles: Using science to achieve large-scale crime reduction. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 10, 709–739.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Stein, J. A., Milburn, N. G., Zane, J. I., & Rotheram-Borus, M. J. (2009). Paternal and maternal influences on problem behaviors among homeless and runaway youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79(1), 39–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Sullivan, P. M., & Knutson, J. F. (2000). The prevalence of disabilities and maltreatment among runaway children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(10), 1275–1288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Terrell, N. E. (1997). Street life: Aggravated and sexual assaults among homeless and runaway adolescents. Youth & Society, 28(3), 267–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Thompson, S. J., Zittel-Palamara, K. M., & Maccio, E. M. (2004). Runaway youth utilizing crisis shelter services: Predictors of presenting problems. Child & Youth Care Forum, 33(6), 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Thrane, L. E., Hoyt, D. R., Whitbeck, L. B., & Yoder, K. A. (2006). Impact of family abuse on running away, deviance, and street victimization among homeless rural and urban youth. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30(10), 1117–1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tucker, J. S., Edelen, M. O., Ellickson, P. L., & Klein, D. J. (2011). Running away from home: A longitudinal study of adolescent risk factors and young adult outcomes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(5), 507–518.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Turner, K., Miller, H., & Henderson, C. (2008). Latent profile analyses of offense and personality characteristics in a sample of incarcerated female sexual offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35(7), 879–894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tyler, K. A., & Bersani, B. E. (2008). A longitudinal study of early adolescent precursors to running away. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 28(2), 230–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tyler, K. A., Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., & Johnson, K. D. (2003). Self-mutilation and homeless youth: The role of family abuse, street experiences, and mental disorders. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13(4), 457–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Vaughn, M. G., DeLisi, M., Beaver, K., & Howard, M. O. (2009). Multiple murder and criminal careers: A latent class analysis of multiple homicide offenders. Forensic Science International, 183(1), 67–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Vaughn, M. G., DeLisi, M., Gunter, T., Fu, Q., Beaver, K., Perron, B., & Howard, M. O. (2011). The severe 5%: A latent class analysis of the externalizing behavior spectrum in the United States. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(1), 75–80.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  72. Vermunt, J. K., & Magidson, J. (2005). Technical guide for latent GOLD 4.0: Basic and advanced. Belmont: Statistical Innovations Inc.Google Scholar
  73. Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., & Ackley, K. A. (1997). Families of homeless and runaway adolescents: A comparison of parent/caretaker and adolescent perspectives on parenting, family violence, and adolescent conduct. Child Abuse and Neglect, 21(6), 517–528.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., Johnson, K. D., & Chen, X. (2007). Victimization and posttraumatic stress disorder among runaway and homeless adolescents. Violence and Victims, 22(6), 721–734.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., & Yoder, K. A. (1999). A risk-amplification model of victimization and depressive symptoms among runaway and homeless adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 27(2), 273–296.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Whitbeck, L. B., Hoyt, D. R., Yoder, K., Cauce, A. M., & Paradise, M. (2001). Deviant behavior and victimization among homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 16(11), 1175–1204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Whitbeck, L. B., & Simons, R. L. (1990). Life on the streets: The victimization of runaway and homeless adolescents. Youth & Society, 22(1), 108–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Windle, M. (1988). Substance use and abuse among adolescent runaways: A four-year follow-up study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 18(4), 331–344.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Winokur-Early, K., Hand, G. A., & Blankenship, J. L. (2012). Validity and reliability of the Florida Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) risk and needs assessment instrument: A three-phase evaluation (validation study, factor analysis, inter-rater reliability). Tallahassee: Justice Research Center.Google Scholar
  80. Yates, G. L., MacKenzie, R., Pennbridge, J., & Cohen, E. (1988). A risk profile comparison of runaway and non-runaway youth. American Journal of Public Health, 78(7), 820–821.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  81. Yoder, K. A. (1999). Comparing suicide attempters, suicide ideators, and nonsuicidal homeless and runaway adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 29(1), 25–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Yoder, K. A., Hoyt, D. R., & Whitbeck, L. B. (1998). Suicidal behavior among homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 27(6), 753–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Yoder, K. A., Whitbeck, L. S., & Hoyt, D. R. (2001). Event history analysis of antecedents to running away from home and being on the street. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(1), 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Young, R. L., Godfrey, W., Matthews, B., & Adams, G. R. (1983). Runaways: A review of negative consequences. Family Relations, 32, 275–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zide, M. R., & Cherry, A. L. (1992). A typology of runaway youths: An empirically based definition. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 9(2), 155–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations