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Study: Young Homeless May Suffer from Multiple Abuse

Kristin Ferguson. Photo courtesy of USC School of Social Work.

It is crucial to determine whether homeless young adults have suffered from more than one type of abuse, according to a recent study published in the December issue of the National Association of Social Workers’ Social Work Research journal (Volume 33, No. 4).

A sampling of 28 homeless young adults aged 18 to 24 found a majority suffered from a high rate of direct abuse (verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual) and indirect abuse where they witnessed such actions happening to others.

Kristin Ferguson, PhD, MSW, an associate professor at the School of Social Work at the University of South California, said her research will benefit researchers and practioners.

Researchers should assess for multiple forms of abuse in addition to the common measures of physical and mental abuse, she wrote. And practioners should be on the alert because even indirect abuse can cause depression and other symptoms in clients, Ferguson says.

The National Association of Social Workers offers members an array of cutting-edge publications. To subscribe to Social Work Research or purchase other NASW books and journals visit the NASW Press Web page by clicking here.

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