A typology based on measures of substance abuse and mental disorder

William Struening, Deborah Padgett, John Pittman, Pilar Cordova, Mattie Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The data of this study were derived from comprehensive interviews of 311 women and 949 men residing in the New York City public shelters for homeless adults during the summer of 1987. Interviews, guided by a 57 page interview protocol, were conducted by thoroughly trained interviewers who had worked in agencies and service systems focused on mental disorders, child abuse, substance abuse and problems of homeless people. Included in the content of the interview were seven dichotomous measures of substance use, substance abuse and mental disorder. A typology of ten groups comprised of individuals with similar profiles on the seven measures served as the independent variable. Three pairs of dependent variables were suicide attempts and current thoughts of suicide, a need for medical services reported by shelter residents and by their interviewers, and disclosure of a drug problem and a need for help in treating it. Consistently meaningful associations between group memberships and the 3 pairs of dependent variables, and 16 measures of health status in previous work, were interpreted as evidence for predictive validity of the typology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-117
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 22 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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