Immigrant women living homeless in Madrid (Spain)

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2020;90(5):633-643. doi: 10.1037/ort0000488. Epub 2020 Jun 25.


Homeless people are one of the most obvious embodiments of the phenomenon of social exclusion, and homeless immigrants and homeless women are considered 2 particularly vulnerable groups. The objective of this article is to analyze the differences between women living homeless born in Spain (nonimmigrants) and those born abroad (immigrants). The study was carried out based on the data obtained from a sample of women living homeless in Madrid (Spain; N = 136). The information was collected using a structured interview. The results show major similarities between immigrant and nonimmigrant homeless women in terms of their basic sociodemographic characteristics (age, marital status, number of children), their state of health, satisfaction with their family and/or partner relationships, and feelings of loneliness or abandonment. Fewer immigrant women had their documentation in order, they received fewer financial benefits and their contact with their family of origin was more limited. However, the immigrant women became homeless at an older age and were subject to less chronic homelessness, their levels of consumption of alcohol and other psychoactive substances were lower, they had experienced fewer stressful life events, more of them had completed higher education, and more of them used mobile telephones and the Internet. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Female
  • Homeless Persons / psychology
  • Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Isolation
  • Spain
  • Women / psychology*