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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: Being homeless: The influence of personality and coping styles on health outcomes.
Author(s): Bright, David M.
Supervisor(s): Watterson, Andrew
Evans, Josie
Keywords: Homelessness and health
Coping styles
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: In 2007/2008 there were 56,561 applications to Scottish local authorities by individuals or households seeking assistance under the homeless persons legislation. This thesis examines the legislative background to homelessness and considers issues of definition. The link between homelessness and health outcomes is reviewed and homelessness is identified as a stressor. People react differently to being homeless and the influence of personality, and coping styles on health outcomes, measured by a modified version of the General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg and Hillier, 1979), was examined. Ninety-six people who had applied to a local authority for assistance due to homelessness completed a questionnaire and participated in an interview at a single session. The Ten Item Personality Index (Gosling, et. al, 2003) and the Internal-External scale (Rotter, 1966) were used to measure personality and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (Folkman and Lazarus, 1988) was used to measure coping styles. The data was analysed using descriptive, correlational and regression analysis for the quantitative data and a reporting framework, which was developed to report on the qualitative data. It was found that emotional stability, planful problem solving, seeking social support and accepting responsibility were significant predictors of both mental and physical symptoms. Conscientiousness, and accepts responsibility were significant predictors of (social) dysfunction. Locus of control was found to have no significant influence on health outcomes. An interesting finding was that seeking social support as a coping style had the result of worsening health outcomes. Further analysis revealed that the outcome of seeking support is important and that to fail to achieve this can have a detrimental effect on health outcomes. The interview data gives an account of what being homeless means from a participant’s perspective and provides useful context to the quantitative data. The interview results were consistent with, and supported the questionnaire results. The implication of these results for an intervention strategy for homeless people assisted by a local authority is discussed, and a possible intervention is suggested which would enhance coping skills and improve access to health care for this group.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Applied Social Science

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