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Better to bend than to break: Coping strategies utilized by substance-abusing homeless youth
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This study investigated the relationship between coping styles and problem behaviors among a sample of substance-abusing youth who are homeless. These youth (n = 268) were recruited through the only drop-in center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Results revealed that youth with higher task-oriented coping reported less delinquent behaviors while those with higher emotion-oriented coping reported higher levels of anxiety/ depression and higher delinquency. Contrary to expectations, youth utilizing higher avoidance-oriented coping skills showed fewer HIV risk behaviors, fewer anxiety/depressive symptoms, and less frequent alcohol use. Findings emphasize the need to examine coping strategies in the context that individuals are situated.
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services