Mental Health Correlates of Past Homelessness in the National Comorbidity Study Replication
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 21, Number 4, November 2010
- pp. 1234-1249
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This study uses data from a nationally representative epidemiologic survey, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, to investigate the association of mental health and substance use disorders, along with other factors, with past homelessness. Approximately 5% of the 5,251 adults reported having been homelessness. Multivariate analysis showed the strongest independent risk factors for past homelessness were past receipt of welfare payments (odds ratio [OR]=5.7), incarceration for 27 or more days (OR=3.9), exposure to personal violence (OR=2.7), lifetime substance use disorder (OR=2.4), and Black race (OR=2.1). Several non-substance use psychiatric disorders were also significantly, if less strongly (OR 1.4 to 1.6), associated with past homelessness. Past homelessness is associated with a broad array of sociodemographic, economic, and mental health problems. While the association of both substance use and psychiatric disorders with past homelessness was quite strong, non-substance use psychiatric disorders was not as strong an independent risk factor as substance abuse disorders.