0
ARTICLE |

The Characteristics and Needs of Sheltered Homeless and Low-Income Housed Mothers

Ellen L. Bassuk, MD; Linda F. Weinreb, MD; John C. Buckner, PhD; Angela Browne, PhD; Amy Salomon, PhD; Shari S. Bassuk
JAMA. 1996;276(8):640-646. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540080062031.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To compare characteristics of homeless and low-income housed mothers across economic, psychosocial, and physical health domains.

Design.  —Case-control study.

Setting.  —Community of Worcester, Mass.

Participants.  —A cross-sectional sample of 220 sheltered homeless mothers and 216 low-income housed (never homeless) mothers receiving welfare.

Main Outcome Measures.  —Income, housing, life events, social support, history of abuse and assault, and mental and physical health.

Results.  —Comparison of homeless and housed mothers revealed some important similarities and differences. The proportion of homeless mothers with annual incomes of less than $7000 was 46% vs 17% for housed mothers (P<.01). Homeless mothers experienced more residential instability than the housed mothers (3.8 moves vs 1.8 moves; P<.001) and had smaller support networks (P<.001). More homeless mothers reported severe physical and sexual assault over the lifespan than housed mothers (91.6% vs 81.1%; P<.003). No significant differences were found between the groups in mental and physical health. However, the lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders was overrepresented compared to the general female population. Both groups had lower physical functioning compared to the general population and a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions.

Conclusion.  —Sheltered homeless mothers had fewer economic resources and social supports and higher cumulative rates of violent abuse and assault over their lifespans than their housed counterparts. However, both groups faced extreme adversity that compromised family well-being. Practitioners and social policymakers need to be cognizant of the multiple economic, psychosocial, and physical health needs of these mothers in providing treatment and developing program interventions.

Topics

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

Figures

Tables

References

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();