Date of Award:

7-2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Jamison D. Fargo

Abstract

Homelessness occurs when individual resources are not enough for the demands of a given environment. Exploring homelessness as a process of resource loss on a continuum of poverty leads to research and explanations concerning how people transition from being housed to being homeless. This study assessed the influence of age, gender, and race along with a set of eleven resource competitiveness variables on the risk of youth becoming homeless. Resource competitiveness variables were: parental income, personal income, possession of a driver's license (DL), live-in partner, parenthood, education and training, annual weeks-employed, substance abuse, and incarceration history. The data came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). This sample was restricted to those that were homeless or unstably housed and were between the ages of 18 and 24 (n = 141). Each case was then matched by age, gender, and race to two individuals randomly selected from the remaining NLSY97 sample (n = 282). This resulted in an overall N of 423. A growth model was used to analyze the data longitudinally. Partnership, education and training, DL, annual weeks-employed, and personal income were significantly associated with experiences of homelessness and unstable housing. All were negatively related, except for age, which was positively related to incidents of homelessness and unstable housing. Comparisons across the homeless, unstably housed, and control samples showed incremental changes in nearly all the covariates in this study, in relation to changes in housing status, supporting the importance of studying homelessness as a point on a continuum of resource loss versus a discrete state of being.

Comments

Homelessness occurs when individual resources are not enough for the demands of a given environment. Exploring homelessness as a process of resource loss on a continuum of poverty leads to research and explanations concerning how people transition from being housed to being homeless. This study assessed the influence of age, gender, and race along with a set of eleven resource competitiveness variables on the risk of youth becoming homeless. Resource competitiveness variables were: parental income, personal income, possession of a driver's license (DL), live-in partner, parenthood, education and training, annual weeks-employed, substance abuse, and incarceration history. The data came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). This sample was restricted to those that were homeless or unstably housed and were between the ages of 18 and 24 (n = 141). Each case was then matched by age, gender, and race to two individuals randomly selected from the remaining NLSY97 sample (n = 282). This resulted in an overall N of 423. A growth model was used to analyze the data longitudinally. Partnership, education and training, DL, annual weeks-employed, and personal income were significantly associated with experiences of homelessness and unstable housing. All were negatively related, except for age, which was positively related to incidents of homelessness and unstable housing. Comparisons across the homeless, unstably housed, and control samples showed incremental changes in nearly all the covariates in this study, in relation to changes in housing status, supporting the importance of studying homelessness as a point on a continuum of resource loss versus a discrete state of being.

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS