Prevalence of childhood abuse among people who are homeless in Western countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sundin, E.C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7490-035X and Baguley, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-0477-2492, 2015. Prevalence of childhood abuse among people who are homeless in Western countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50 (2), pp. 183-194. ISSN 1433-9285


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Purpose: This article systematically reviews studies of prevalence of childhood experience of physical and sexual abuse in adult people who are homeless in Western countries. Methods: Medline, PsychInfo, and the Cochrane Library were searched using the keywords: homeless*, child* abuse, child* trauma, and child* adversity and the bibliographies of identified articles were reviewed. Sources of heterogeneity in the prevalence rates were explored by meta-regression analysis Results: Twenty-four reports published between January 1990 and August 2013 in three countries provided estimates obtained from up to 9,730 adult individuals who were homeless. Prevalence of reported childhood physical abuse ranged from 6 to 94% with average prevalence of 37%, 95% CI [25, 51]. Reported sexual abuse ranged from 4 to 62%, with average prevalence estimated as 32%, 95% CI [23, 44] for females and 10% for males, 95% CI [6, 17]. Substantial heterogeneity was observed among the studies (I2 ≥ 98%). Including moderators greatly reduced but did not eliminate this heterogeneity. Moderator analyses suggested that reported physical abuse tended to be higher for predominately white samples and tended to be lower for younger samples. Sexual abuse was far more prevalent in predominately female samples and slightly higher in non-US samples and convenience samples.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Creators: Sundin, E.C. and Baguley, T.
Publisher: Springer Medizin
Place of Publication: Heidelberg, Germany
Date: 2015
Volume: 50
Number: 2
ISSN: 1433-9285
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:38
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:35

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