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

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

3326.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #66557

Impact of trauma on substance abusing homeless men

Mimi Misung Kim, MS, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2412 Lamont Norwood Rd., Pittsboro, NC 27312, 919-967-5550,

The current homeless population is characterized by adverse life conditions such as substance abuse, chronic mental illness, poor health, poor social support and high rates of violence. Unfortunately, little is known about violence that homeless men have experienced and its relationship to conditions such as substance abuse and mental illness. Consequently, this project examines factors and their relationship to substance use/misuse with consideration to temporality and duration of traumatic experiences among homeless men.

This project is guided by the following aims: To define the nature and prevalence of trauma within a population of homeless men. To contribute to the literature on trauma and substance abuse that estimates when trauma occurs, its duration, and the presence and extent of substance abuse/misuse. To present findings from an exploratory analysis of specific traumatic events and their relationships to specific substance choices or specific patterns of substance abuse. To provide a path analytic model that examines the effects of demographics, life stressors, mental health history, health factors, and social support networks on substance use/misuse.

Data on demographics, life stressors, mental health, health, social support and substance abuse from 30 homeless men were collected in the first year using semi-structured interviews. Qualitative analysis results indicated repeated themes of childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse both in the respondents and the primary caregivers, and homelessness as a result of abuse. Second year data collection efforts include a self-administered survey packet of several existing instruments to collect quantitative data in the same areas.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Homelessness, Substance Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: This project is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Grant

Effects of Gender, Race; and Mental Health on Substance Abuse and Treatment Poster Session

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