The devastating problem of homelessness can no longer be overlooked and must be studied in order to better understand how it impacts vulnerable persons. Investigations have identified complex and interrelated factors associated with homelessness, including: mental health issues, substance abuse, employment loss, housing cost increases, limited social support, and physical health issues. The purpose of this exploratory study was to concentrate on a small sample of Latino men in a homeless shelter who sought psychological services while completing a residential substance abuse recovery program. The study utilized de-identified archival data from the mental health clinic at a faith-based shelter in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. The participants were 30 Latino males with a mean age of 39.76 years. Most of the sample had the equivalent of a high school education or higher (64%). The participants tended to be single (52%), divorced (24%), or separated (16%). Most (75%) reported they had never received individual psychotherapy before. Instruments included the Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II), Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-20). The BDI-II and AUDIT showed excellent internal consistency reliability, while reliability of the DAST-20 was very good. The participants’ mean scores indicated depressive symptoms of mild to moderate severity; a high level of alcohol problems; and substantial drug abuse problems. BDI-II scores were positively correlated with AUDIT and DAST-20 scores, though the findings did not reach statistical significance, most likely due to a lack of power associated with the small sample size. The most common presenting problem on the clinic’s intake form was substance abuse, with alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamines as the most frequently reported substances of abuse. Some form of depressive disorder was the most common non-substance-related condition and 26% of the participants reported one or more prior suicide attempts. The majority of participants (85.7%) reported at least monthly contact with family members, indicating an important potential source of support to aid the recovery process. Additional findings, recommendations on how to strengthen the clinic’s intake form, other clinical implications, and suggestions for future research are also discussed.
|Commitee:||Keatinge, Carolyn, Ortiz, Berta|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Gender studies, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||Abuse, Homeless, Latino, Mood, Substance|
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