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J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2019 Dec 4. doi: 10.1007/s40615-019-00674-w. [Epub ahead of print]

Association of Fear and Mistrust with Stress Among Sheltered Homeless Adults and the Moderating Effects of Race and Sex.

Author information

1
College of Education, Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, The University of Houston, 491 Farish Hall, Houston, TX, 77204-5029, USA. chisom.odoh@unt.edu.
2
College of Health and Public Services, Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services, The University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #311456, Denton, TX, 76203, USA. chisom.odoh@unt.edu.
3
HEALTH Research Institute, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA. chisom.odoh@unt.edu.
4
Family and Preventive Medicine, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA.
5
Stephenson Cancer Center, Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA.
6
College of Education, Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, The University of Houston, 491 Farish Hall, Houston, TX, 77204-5029, USA.
7
HEALTH Research Institute, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Abstract

In shelter settings, homeless individuals often congregate and sleep in proximity to one another, with limited secure places for belongings: a living environment that may engender perceived vulnerability to victimization. Fear of victimization and mistrust of others in the shelter environment may result in greater stress, and racial minority residents and women may be particularly affected. Here, we aimed to examine the associations between fear, mistrust, and fear and mistrust, and stress among sheltered homeless adults, and explore moderation by race and sex. Data were from a convenience sample of adults from a homeless shelter in Dallas, TX (N = 225; 67% black; 27% women). Participants completed the fear and mistrust scale and the urban life stressors scale. Linear regressions were used to measure associations of fear, mistrust, and fear and mistrust with stress, adjusted for age, education, sex, race, history of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, and discrimination. Moderation was assessed with interaction terms. Adjusted results indicated that fear, mistrust, fear and mistrust was positively associated with stress (p < 0.001). Race, but not sex, was a significant moderator of associations between fear and stress, whereby black adults with high levels of fear were more likely than white adults to experience high stress levels. Thus, although more research is needed, results suggest that interventions aimed at reducing fear of victimization may reduce stress for black adults. Given the association of stress with myriad undesirable health outcomes that can further exacerbate known health disparities, further work in this area is critical. Future research should investigate environmental sources of fear to provide further direction for interventions.

KEYWORDS:

Fear; Homeless; Mistrust; Moderation; Sheltered; Stress

PMID:
31802428
DOI:
10.1007/s40615-019-00674-w

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