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Paper Information

Journal:   SOCIAL WELFARE   SUMMER 2007 , Volume 6 , Number 25; Page(s) 147 To 168.



Objectives: Running away is one of the most serious psychosocial problems. Running away is an important signal that something is seriously wrong in adolescent's life. Adolescent's runaways are not a homogeneous population. The girls differ from one another in personal and family problems, in the needs and motives that lead them to run away. These differences require different interventions.

Running away has been the focus of research by psychologists, sociologists, clinicians, psychiatrists and educators, and many variables have been found to be related. Correlates of runaway behavior may be grouped into three categories: societal factors, personal characteristics, and interpersonal relationships. Many of these correlates Therefore, the present study focused on psychosocial correlates of running away from home among female adolescents. The main propose of this study was the comparison of emotional intelligence of runaways girls and Not Runaways group.

Method: Participants were 110 adolescents' girls, including 40 female runaways staying in psychosocial support centers of social welfare organization and 70 "Not Runaways" high schools students as a comparison group. Subjects were selected through available and cluster sampling. The main tool for data collection was the demographic characteristics that provide information regarding age, gender, alcohol! drug use, family status (parents together or not), academic achievement and history of truancy from school, and Baron emotional intelligence questionnaire which assess total and complex components of emotional intelligence. Data were analyzed by using chi-square and t test.

Findings: The results revealed that 45 percentages of runaway's girls had run away history. 85 percentages of runaway's girl had been maltreated and 40 percentages of them had the experience sexual abuse in family. 57% of runaway's girls had the history of drug abuse in their families. Analyses of Data indicated significant difference between runaway's girls and Not Runaways group on emotional intelligence scales. Runaway's girls showed significantly lower score in total emotional intelligence (EQ) and subscales of emotional intelligence questionnaire. The analysis also indicated that there is a positive relationship existing between the level of family conflicts, Physical and sexual abuse of girls, parent addiction and negative psychosocial climate of schools and girls running away from home.
Results: findings of this study show that girls running away from home are complex phenomena that resulted from multiple factors in familial, psychological and social domain. Psychological and personality factors such as problem solving and decision making skills, stress management, impulse control, reality testing, assertiveness, and interpersonal relationships are significantly correlated with running away in adolescents females. These findings suggest that running away behavior particularly in girls, is related to drug use in family, single-parent family status, family conflicts, social support and academic performance. Therefore preventive program should be multilevel. According the finding of this study emotional intelligence is the strong predictor of running away from home. Psychosocial intervention for increasing emotional intelligence and coping skills of adolescents females and improving family and school climates is very useful in prevention of this problem.

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