Risk Factors of Running Away in Young Iranian Girls: A Cross-sectional Study

Background: The present study explored the risk factors for the running away behavior in young Iranian girls. Objectives: This study explored the role of conflictual familial relationships, history of sexual or physical abuse, low socioeconomic status, low self-esteem, dysfunctional coping strategies, depression symptoms, and poor religious beliefs in predicting the running away behavior among Iranian young girls. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 95 young girls who ran away from home and 135 girls as the control group. They responded to several self-reported measures to assess sociodemographic characteristics, the household’s economic status, the strength of the family, religious beliefs, history of substance abuse, experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, self-esteem, coping styles, and depression. We used the independent t-test, chi-square also used logistic regression. Results: Girls who came from low-income and moderate-income families had significantly higher odds of running away than girls belonging to high-income families. Girls who had a history of using illicit drugs had higher odds of running away from home. Moreover, low family strength and weak religious beliefs significantly predicted running away from home. Conclusion: The findings suggested that the family’s economic status, history of substance use, familial relationships, and weak religious beliefs were key factors in understanding the behavior of running away from home in Iranian adolescent girls.