Homelessness and vulnerability among adults with and without alcohol problems

Subst Use Misuse. 1997 Jun;32(7-8):939-68. doi: 10.3109/10826089709055865.


While many works compare traits of homeless adults across levels of alcohol use, few specifically consider whether drinking status affects determinants of either homelessness or "vulnerability" to homelessness. This paper relies on a 1986 Chicago, Illinois sample (n = 535) to consider the potential contributions of resources, social network characteristics, disaffiliation, and mental health problems. Results suggest that resource problems may determine homelessness regardless of drinking status. But drinking-associated problems may raise the resource threshold for "vulnerability," reduce the protection afforded by social networks against both homelessness and "vulnerability," increase the deleterious impact of disaffiliation, and spur complicating mental health problems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Female
  • Homeless Persons / psychology*
  • Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Public Assistance / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Urban Population* / statistics & numerical data