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Homelessness is purportedly a predictor of property offending and property victimization, yet published studies examining this occurrence are scarce. This systematic review collates, summarizes, and appraises published studies reporting the rates of perpetration of property offenses and property victimization, and associations between homelessness and these outcomes. A comprehensive search of psychology, sociology, and health electronic databases, including PsycINFO and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) was conducted. Search terms included “homeless*,” “adol*,” “youth*,” “offend*,” “victimization,” and variations to the terms “offending” and “victimization.” Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. Effect sizes could be calculated for five reviewed studies. Findings suggested homeless youth engage commonly in either theft or property damage. Burglary and having personal property damaged were the most commonly reported victimization experiences. Several studies reported associations between homelessness and property offenses. Research investigating situational antecedents that contribute to the likelihood of property offenses and property victimization in homeless youth is required.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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