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Pathways and Cycles of Runaways: A Model for Understanding Repetitive Runaway Behavior
Carol R. Hartman; Ann Wolbert Burgess; Arlene McCormack
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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The authors thank Mary McConville, Michael Faye, and Chad Hanna of Under-21 in Toronto, Canada, for their assistance in data collection and Peter Gaccione of Boston City Hospital for his assistance in data analysis.

Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

University of Lowell in Lowell, Massachusetts

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Based on information provided by 149 runaways staying in a Canadian shelter, the authors developed a model that explains repetitious running away as the result of youths' cognitive confusion and unrealistic beliefs. The majority of the youths, who had run away an average of 8.9 times, felt that the events that led them to run away were unpredictable, yet 54 percent blamed only themselves for what happened. The paper describes the pathways, cycles, and outcomes of running away; analyzes the relationship between the youths' experiences with prostitution, delinquency, and sexual and physical abuse and the length of time they had been away from home; summarizes the youths' reasons for running away; compares the beliefs of runaways with and without a history of sexual abuse; and discusses interventions.

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