Uniform TitleHomeless mothers: coping and adaptation
NameGladstone, Amy (author), Zippay, Allison (chair), Farmer, Antionette (internal member), Glasser, Paul (internal member), Strange, Heather (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionAs affordable housing resources diminish in cities throughout the country, poor families increasingly join the ranks of the homeless. This study considers the question of whether there is an association between coping ability and adaptation and the conditions of homelessness for homeless mothers.
The research design involves in-person interviews with 80 homeless mothers residing at a shelter for homeless families in New York City. All were on public assistance at the time of the study, had at least one child, and had been at the shelter for no more than 4 months.
The study considers two types of coping, problem-focused, which involves active efforts to address the stressor, and emotion-focused, which involves directing attention away from the stressor through defensive mechanisms such as avoidance. This study asked whether the type of coping, problem-focused or emotion-focused, is associated with the number of times that homeless families relocated, the total amount of time that they were homeless and the number of concurrent stressful life events they faced in the 3 years prior to the study. It also considered whether these three independent variables, number of relocations, duration of homelessness, and number of life events, were associated with adaptation to implicit and explicit shelter expectations.
Results indicate that homeless mothers who relocate four or more times utilize defensive emotion-focused coping strategies more than mothers who relocate three times or less. Additionally, homeless mothers who have experienced 20 or more stressful life events utilize more emotion-focused coping strategies than mothers who experience fewer than 20 stressful life events. Policy makers and clinicians should incorporate the results of this study as well as others documenting the detrimental effects of frequent relocations and numerous stressful life events on the coping capacity of homeless mothers in designing social policy and clinical services for this population.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 196-207).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.