Methamphetamine Use among Homeless Former Foster Youth: The Mediating Role of Social Networks

Yoshioka-Maxwell, A.,
Rice, E.,
Rhoades, H.,
Winetrobe, H.
Published: April, 2015
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Volume: 3

Issue: 2

Current research has failed to explain why homeless youth with foster care experience engage in methamphetamine use at higher rates than other homeless young adults. To address this issue, these authors examined the mediating effect of social network engagement and time spent homeless on the relationship between foster care experience and recent methamphetamine use among homeless youth in Los Angeles. They used egocentric network data from a cross-sectional community-based sample (n = 652) of homeless youth aged 13–25 recruited from drop-in centers in Los Angeles. Controlling for other variables, results of path analysis indicated a direct effect between foster care experience and recent methamphetamine use. However, this direct effect became statistically non-significant when time spent homeless and network methamphetamine use were added to the model, and indirect paths from time spent homeless and network methamphetamine use became statistically significant. The authors suggest that efforts to reduce methamphetamine use among homeless former foster youth should focus on securing stable housing and addressing network interactions.

Correspondence to: A. Yoshioka-Maxwell, University of Southern California, Montgomery Ross Fisher Building, 669 West 34th Steet, Los Angeles, CA; Telephone: (626) 381-8655; E-mail:, Website:
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