Motivational and cognitive factors linked to community integration in homeless veterans: study 1 - individuals with psychotic disorders

Psychol Med. 2022 Jan;52(1):169-177. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720001889. Epub 2020 Jun 10.


Background: Little is known about the determinants of community integration (i.e. recovery) for individuals with a history of homelessness, yet such information is essential to develop targeted interventions.

Methods: We recruited homeless Veterans with a history of psychotic disorders and evaluated four domains of correlates of community integration: perception, non-social cognition, social cognition, and motivation. Baseline assessments occurred after participants were engaged in supported housing services but before they received housing, and again after 12 months. Ninety-five homeless Veterans with a history of psychosis were assessed at baseline and 53 returned after 12 months. We examined both cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships with 12-month community integration.

Results: The strongest longitudinal association was between a baseline motivational measure and social integration at 12 months. We also observed cross-sectional associations at baseline between motivational measures and community integration, including social, work, and independent living. Cross-lagged panel analyses did not suggest causal associations for the motivational measures. Correlations with perception and non-social cognition were weak. One social cognition measure showed a significant longitudinal correlation with independent living at 12 months that was significant for cross-lagged analysis, consistent with a causal relationship and potential treatment target.

Conclusions: The relatively selective associations for motivational measures differ from what is typically seen in psychosis, in which all domains are associated with community integration. These findings are presented along with a partner paper (Study 2) to compare findings from this study to an independent sample without a history of psychotic disorders to evaluate the consistency in findings regarding community integration across projects.

Keywords: Cognition; Veterans; community integration; homelessness; motivation; psychotic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cognition
  • Community Integration
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Motivation
  • Psychotic Disorders* / psychology
  • Veterans* / psychology