Homelessness is socially created: Cluster analysis of social determinants of homelessness (SODH) in North West England in 2020

Mzwandile Mabhala, Winifred Adaobi Esealuka, Amanda Nkolika Nwufo, Chinwe Enyinna, Chelsea Nonkosi Mabhala, Treasure Udechukwu, John Reid, Asmait Yohannes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Poverty creates social conditions that increase the likelihood of homelessness. These in-clude exposure to traumatic life experiences; social disadvantages such as poor educational experi-ences; being raised in a broken family, care homes or foster care; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; and neglect at an early age. These conditions reduce people’s ability to negotiate through life challenges. This cross-sectional study documents the clustering and frequency of adverse social conditions among 152 homeless people from four cities in North West England between January and August 2020. Two-step cluster analysis showed that having parents with a criminal record, care history, and child neglect/abuse history was predictive of homelessness. The cluster of indicator variables among homeless people included sexual abuse (χ2 (N = 152) = 220.684, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.7), inappropriate sexual behaviour (χ2 (N = 152) = 207.737, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.7), emotional neglect (χ2 (N = 152) = 181.671, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.7), physical abuse by step-parent (χ2 (N = 152) = 195.882, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.8), and physical neglect (χ2 (N = 152) = 205.632, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.8). Poverty and homelessness are intertwined because of the high prevalence of poverty among the homeless. Poverty sets up a chain of interactions between social conditions that increase the likelihood of unfavourable outcomes: homelessness is at the end of the interaction chain. Interventions supporting families to rise out of poverty may also reduce entry into homelessness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3066
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Homelessness
  • Inequalities
  • Poverty
  • Two-step cluster analysis

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