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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Powerlessness and Service Utilization by People without Homes by Chronic Homelessness, Age, Gender, Mental Health, and Substance Use
by Silva, George Randell, Ph.D., Alliant International University, 2014, 59; 3620289
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examined correlates of powerlessness, chronic homelessness (more than one-year homelessness), age, and gender, by analysis of the mental health (MH) and substance use (SU) service requests made by 699 people who attended a San Francisco, California homeless outreach event in May of 2005. People without homes (PWH) suffer MH and SU issues at a much higher rate than housed people, yet PWH who acknowledged they experienced MH and SU issues were least likely to request MH and SU services. PWH may have experienced chronic feelings of powerlessness, which resulted from marginalization. These chronic feelings of powerlessness contributed to a person's belief that his or her actions would produce no positive results. The concept of powerlessness may help explain PWH's reluctance to request MH and SU services. The author explored the relationship between chronicity of homelessness and requests for MH and SU services. Analyses showed that non-chronic PWH requested more MH services than those who were chronically homeless. However, this association was not seen when requests for SU services was examined. Additional analysis examining the relationship between service requests, age and gender did not result in significant findings. These findings provided support for the idea that powerlessness was an intrapersonal factor in PWH's choices to request or not request MH and SU services, based upon non-chronic homelessness and theoretically less exposure to powerlessness. These results assist in identifying intrapersonal factors influencing a person's experience in overcoming homelessness, providing an alternative to the current suggestion from the literature that services were unattractive to PWH.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tiet, Quyen
Commitee: Bertagnolli, Andrew, Tulkin, Steven
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Francisco, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Experimental psychology
Keywords: Homeless, Mental health, Powerlessness, Project homeless connect, San francisco, Substance use
Publication Number: 3620289
ISBN: 978-1-303-90060-0
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