Risk Factors for Homelessness Among Women with Schizophrenia

Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 09/1995; 85(8 Pt 1):1153-6. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.85.8_Pt_1.1153
Source: PubMed


A study of risk factors for homelessness among the severely mentally ill was extended to include women, and a case-control study of 100 indigent women with schizophrenia meeting criteria for literal homelessness and 100 such women with no history of homelessness was conducted. Subjects were recruited from shelters, clinics, and inpatient psychiatric programs in New York City. Clinical interviewers used standardized research instruments to probe three domains of risk factors: severity of mental illness, family background, and prior mental health service use. Findings adjusted for ethnicity revealed that homeless women had higher rates of a concurrent diagnosis of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and antisocial personality disorder. Homeless women also had less adequate family support.

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    • "Previous investigations have found a higher risk of homelessness in African Americans, compared with other ethnic groups, and in male gender, compared with women. Similarly, a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and poorer functioning has been associated with homelessness.33-35 Hispanics and Asian Americans were less likely to be homeless.34 "
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    • "Homeless families are most frequently headed by single mothers (Rog & Buckner, 2007). A number of studies have found that female-headed households have greater risks for poverty (United States Department ofCommerce, 1999) and subsequently have greater risks of homelessness (Caton et al., 1995;DiBlasio & Belcher, 1995). Similarly, women who have experienced violence may encounter discrimination from landlords who are reluctant to rent to them (ACLU, 2004). "
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