Stressful life event experiences of homeless adults: A comparison of single men, single women, and women with children

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This article describes stressful life events experienced by a multi‐shelter sample of 162 homeless adults in the Central Florida area. Participants included homeless single men (n = 54), homeless single women (n = 54), and homeless women with children (n = 54). Subjects were interviewed with a modified version of the List of Threatening Experiences (Brugha & Cragg, 1990). Findings indicate that the two groups of women were more likely to have been both physically and sexually abused as children than single men. Single women were more likely to have experienced sexual violence over the age of 18, experienced domestic violence, and been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. Single men were more likely to have abused drugs and alcohol, and to have been incarcerated. Women with children were more likely to have lived in foster care. Overall, single women experienced significantly more stressful life events than single men and women with children. These findings suggest that the three groups are unique and would benefit from prevention and/or treatment approaches developed for the specific subgroup.

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