Identifying mental and physical health correlates of homelessness among first-time and chronically homeless veterans

Suzannah K. Creech, Erin Johnson, Matthew Borgia, Claire Bourgault, Stephen Redihan, Thomas P. O'Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined four categories of self-reported health and mental health factors and their association with recurrent or chronic homelessness in a sample of homeless Veterans presenting for care for the first time. These factors and their relationship to housing status were examined in a cross-sectional analysis comparing first-time or single episode homeless Veterans to chronic or repeat emergency sheltered or unsheltered homeless Veterans. Results revealed that while Veterans with a history of chronic or recurrent homelessness were more likely to self-report diagnoses of substance abuse problems, any mental health problems, and bipolar disorder, those who were homeless for the first time in their adult life were more likely to report a variety of physical health conditions, economic causes of homelessness, and some other mental health problem. These findings suggest that further work should be undertaken to determine how clinical interventions for Veteran homelessness address different risk profiles and treatment needs based on lifetime homeless history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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