The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4020.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 9:15 AM

Abstract #61944

Reciprocal Relationships between Homeless Families and their Social Supports

Kristin A. Stainbrook, MA and John Hornik, PhD. Advocates for Human Potential, 262 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054, 518-475-9146,

The low level of social support available to poor single-female -headed families has been cited as one reason that families turn to shelters and social service agencies for help. There are two main findings from the research on social supports and homeless families: 1) families may be vulnerable because they lack the critical supports necessary to prevent homelessness, and 2) these families do not lack supports, but rather they have strained relationships to the point where they can no longer count on them. Little attention has been paid to reciprocity, that is, the support homeless families may give to their network members, and the extent to which the exchange is balanced. This paper explores the reciprocal relationship between homeless families and their social supports. Using data from an on-going CMHS/CSAT study of homeless single- mother headed families, it will describe the nature of supportive exchanges. Respondents were asked to identify if they had received and/or given eight specific types of assistance and to identify their relationships with the individuals who provided them with this assistance. These areas include: loans of money or items of monetary value, babysitting, emotional support, transportation, shelter, household tasks, advice/guidance, and sharing personal feelings. Consistent with prior research, respondents were also asked about the availability of perceived supports, as well as frequency of contact with individuals identified as sources of support. Early findings will be presented and discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Design and Evaluation of Interventions for Homeless Families

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA