An examination of homelessness from a stress perspective.

Titre: An examination of homelessness from a stress perspective.
Auteur(s): Farrell, Susan Jane
Date: 2001
Résumé: Previously, models of homelessness have not described how persons dealt with the stressful experience of being homeless. This study examined the adequacy of a transient stress model, developed by the integration of Moos and Schaefer's (1993) Integrated Framework of Stress and Coping and Dohrenwend's (1978) Social Stress Model, to understand the experiences of persons who are homeless. The model illustrates what factors contribute to a person's well-being in the context of experiencing the crisis of being homeless. Specifically, personal factors (personality characteristics, sex, past experiences of homelessness, personal empowerment and approach-style and avoidance-style coping responses) and environmental factors (perceived social support and social network size) were examined in terms of their association with the occurrence of stressful life events and the appraisal of, and response to, the stress associated with being homeless. Stress appraisal and stress response were then used to predict levels of psychopathology and subjective well-being. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 200 persons who used emergency shelters and with a convenience sample of 30 persons who used community services but slept elsewhere. The final model demonstrated that personal and environmental factors played a role in the occurrence of stressful life events and stress response, but that only personal empowerment and stress response were directly associated with levels of well-being and psychopathology. The addition of qualitative responses provided more information about individuals' processes of coping with being homeless, as explained in their own words. Moreover, it allowed for the examination of differences between groups, defined by sex and age in their reporting of stressful life events, coping responses, social support, personal empowerment and stress appraisal. Unlike previous models of homelessness, this model demonstrated the importance of personal and environmental factors in the occurrence of stressful life events and the subsequent stress reaction and reports of well-being and psychopathology.
CollectionThèses, 1910 - 2005 // Theses, 1910 - 2005
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