Social relationships and vulnerability to becoming homeless among poor families

Marybeth Shinn, James R. Knickman, Beth C. Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compares social relationships of 677 mothers in families requesting shelter with those of 495 mothers in housed families, randomly snelected from the public assistance caseload in New York City. As hypothesized, women seeking shelter had experienced higher levels of a variety of childhood and adult events indicative of disruptions in social relationships. Contrary to our hypothesis, they were more likely than were housed mothers to have had recent contact with parents, other relatives, and friends, although they felt less able to draw on these resources for help with their current housing needs. More than three fourths of families seeking shelter had already stayed with members of their social network in the past year. The data suggest that they had used up potential sources of support before turning to public shelter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1187
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Social relationships and vulnerability to becoming homeless among poor families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this