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.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 1234-1249
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.