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J Trauma Stress. 2012 Dec;25(6):624-32. doi: 10.1002/jts.21750.

Trauma experience among homeless female veterans: correlates and impact on housing, clinical, and psychosocial outcomes.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, West Haven, Connecticut, USA. Jack.Tsai@yale.edu

Abstract

This study examined lifetime exposure to traumatic events as reported by 581 homeless female veterans enrolled in a Homeless Women Veterans Program across 11 sites to characterize the types of trauma they experienced; their correlation with baseline characteristics; and their association with housing, clinical outcomes, and psychosocial functioning over a 1-year treatment period. Almost all participants endorsed multiple types and episodes of traumatic events. Among the most common were having someone close experience a serious or life-threatening illness (82%) and rape (67%). Exploratory factor analysis revealed 6 potential trauma categories: being robbed, experiencing accident or disasters, illness or death of others, combat, sexual assault, and physical assault. At baseline, trauma from sexual assault was associated with more days homeless (β = .18, p < .001), trauma from accidents or disasters was associated with poorer physical health (β = -.23, p < .001), and trauma from being robbed was related to greater use of drugs (β = .22, p < .001). Trauma reported at baseline, however, was not predictive of 1-year outcomes, suggesting type and frequency of trauma does not negatively affect the housing gains homeless women veterans can achieve through homeless services.

PMID:
23225030
DOI:
10.1002/jts.21750
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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