Social support among homeless and housed mothers: An integrative review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Homelessness has been associated with levels of stress beyond the normal strain of living in poverty. For mothers who are homeless, support from their social networks may provide a buffer from some of the stresses associated with being homeless. To better understand the relationship between social support and female-headed homeless families, an integrative review was conducted of 12 research articles that compare social support among low-income housed mothers and homeless mothers, using guidelines set forth by Ganong. The included studies revealed four significant attributes of social support among housed and homeless mothers: size of the social support network; composition of the social support network; contacts with members of the social support network; and perceived support from members of the social support network. Nurses who work with homeless families are in a position to help develop ways for these families to cultivate and maintain their social support networks while homeless. Nurses can be available to offer support, including the necessary mental health services or referrals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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