Most Teen Runaways Flee Lack of Communication at Home

      August 15, 2012 06:31

      More teenagers run away from home because they cannot talk to their parents rather than because of broken families, a poll suggests. In the poll of 423 teen runaways, 55.1 percent said they ran away from home due to a lack of communication with their family, including conflict with parents, excessive interference, and discrimination.

      This figure is nearly 10 times the 6.5 percent who ran away because their parents divorced or remarried. Some 18.2 percent said they ran away from home because they wanted to be free.

      Other reasons were inability to adapt to school, isolation at school and poverty.

      Teen runaways gather at a fast-food restaurant in Seoul on Monday to escape the heat.

      The poll was conducted across the country by the World Community for Ending Poverty in May and June. Researchers Song Jung-kun and Jang Dong-sub of the organization, who have taken care of teen runaways for the past decade, conducted face-to-face interviews.

      All 423 runaways filled in questionnaires with their own candid stories about why they ran away from home. They most frequently spoke of their need for understanding and complained of interference and excessive control by their parents.

      One runaway in Gyeonggi Province said, "I wanted my parents understand me better."

      Some 55.4 percent roamed around for more than 15 days on average after running away from home. Six out of 10 respondents said they ran away from home more than three times. And 37.1 percent had lived together with other runaways.

      Some 282 said they committed crimes including robbery, theft, and extortion to eke out a living. Some were involved in sexual violence or prostitution.

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