Comparison of Psychosocial and Behavioral Profiles of Victimized and Nonvictimized Homeless Women and Their Intimate Partners

Published in: Research in Nursing and Health, v. 24, 2001, p. 324-335

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2001

by Adeline Nyamathi, Suzanne L. Wenzel, Jana Lesser, Jacquelyn Flaskerud, Barbara Leake

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The purpose of this study was to examine the psychosocial, behavioral, and environmental profiles of homeless women, both those with and without a history of victimization, and their intimate partners. Five hundred seven homeless women and their intimate partners participated in the study. Thirty-nine percent of the women reported being physically and/or sexually assaulted as adults. Controlling for potential confounders, victimized women were more likely than others to have a history of childhood sexual and physical abuse, lifetime substance use, greater mental health symptomatology, and current risky sexual activity. Thus, homeless women with mental health and substance abuse problems ought to be screened for violent experiences and encouraged to obtain treatment appropriate to their problems to reduce their ongoing risk of victimization.

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