Previous work suggests that the population of homeless women is a heterogenous group, and that motherhood and the presence or absence of children define subgroups that may be distinct. The current study is a systematic study of 300 homeless women (90% of whom were mothers) according to these suggested subgroupings. Mothers whose children were with them, compared to other women, were younger and often unemployed and welfare dependent. Mothers without their children had higher rates of nonsubstance Axis I disorders (48%) and alcoholism (33%), and 72% had a lifetime psychiatric diagnosis. Homeless mothers whose children are not with them represent a deviant subgroup with more personal (and fewer social) vulnerabilities to homelessness and may represent a target population for focus of psychiatric treatment efforts. Mothers with their children may benefit more from increased attention to social services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health