alexa Child Health

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Child Health

Purpose: To directly compare sexual behaviors, substance use, and mood in a cohort of homeless heterosexual and sexual minority youth.

Methods: Utilizing a retrospective chart review, self-reported sexual behaviors, substance use, and mood were documented in a cohort of homeless youth ages 15-25 years old, who were seen on a mobile clinic over a 2-year period in 2008 and 2009.

Results: Both homeless heterosexual and sexual minority youth engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors, used multiple substances, and had mood disturbances. There were no significant differences between heterosexual and sexual minority youth concerning percent sexually active, 1st sexual activity age 15 or younger, total number of sexual partners, sexually transmitted disease history, use of tobacco, use of marijuana, intravenous drug use, current mood, history of depression, history of use of a psychiatric medication, or history of suicidality.

Conclusions: Homelessness may be a more critical factor for these youth engaging in risky behaviors, and having poor mood, than sexual orientation per se.

 
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