Missing Children Publication Hub
Organization: The Smile of the Child
Published In: 2015
Risk Factors in Juvenile Runaways and Children of Late Childhood: A qualitative analysis
(by "Christos Fousianis, Vanessa Hatzithanasi, Aggeliki Kolokitha, Elena Petsa & Reggina Karantinou ")
The aim of the study is to shed light on the main risk factors of youth and children of late childhood who run away from care. The phenomenon of runaways is predominant globally. The push factors, the obstacles during the journey and the ominous future, demonstrate the necessity of preventing and dealing effectively with children running away.
In this study the main risk factors that lead to youth runaways are presented in depth. The data (62 cases, from both genders since 2008) was collected during the counseling procedure with the families of runaways once the runaway had returned.
The results from the qualitative analysis revealed that the psychological aspects of familial relations of the runaway play a significant role in this phenomenon. Specifically, it shows that psychological abuse-related behaviors, including low communication level, sentimental alienation, and disturbed roles in family, parental rejection, inconsistent parenting and authoritarian parenting style affect girls more often than boys. It seems that authoritarian parenting styles and conflicts with their parents push them to runaway more often.
Moreover, there seems that a large percentage of girls who experience such familial relations tend to create more risky personality developments towards romantic relationships, such as involvements with boys much older than them.
The aforementioned findings are explained through well-known psychological theories and can contribute to the establishment of intervening practices at schools and families through seminars, educational conferences or summer schools that may refer to all categories involved, including parents, teachers and children/juveniles.
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