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Discrepancies in Reporting of Physical and Sexual Abuse Among Homeless Young Adults

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Volume: 18 Issue: 5 Dated: September-October 2009 Pages: 513-531
Kimberly A. Tyler; Lisa A. Melander
Date Published
October 2009
19 pages
This study examined risk factors for discrepant reporting of physical and sexual abuse among a population of 172 homeless young adults, using demographic and family background characteristics.
Results indicate high rates of discrepant reporting for both physical and sexual abuse, with participants failing to label many forms of physical abuse as maltreatment. Study participants were more likely to be discrepant reporters on minor forms of physical abuse and noncontact sexual abuse. Discrepant reporting, the denial or minimization of maltreatment, decreases the opportunity for appropriate intervention. Previous studies on the topic have been conducted with clinical samples; data for this study were collected from the Homeless Young Adult Project, a study designed to examine the effect of neglect and abuse histories on health and high-risk behavior of 199 young adults in 3 Midwestern cities. Of this total, 144 were homeless, and 55 were housed, but had extensive histories of being homeless. Tables and references