Suicide ideation and attempt among a sample of previously homeless individuals Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Walsh, Adam K.
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • This dissertation describes the factors associated with homelessness, the prevalence and documented risk factors of suicide among the general population, and a review of the major studies on suicide among the homeless. In addition, this paper introduces a risk amplification model of how the condition of homelessness may exacerbate pre-existing bio-psychosocial problems, which in turn may increase the risk of suicide ideation and attempts. The dissertation describes study results, conclusions, and implications for social work research and practice. This dissertation examined the frequency and the associated risk factors of suicide ideation and attempts among a sample of PHI. Factors such as substance abuse, mental health problems, physical illness, race, gender, age, and the individual's history of homelessness were examined to determine which factors were associated with suicide ideation and attempts among a sample of PHI. Methods: The cross-sectional data used for this dissertation study were taken from a larger research project, which focused on the cost effectiveness of PSH (see appendix A). The study sample consisted of 226 PHI who received PSH from six separate PSH sites. Study participants were interviewed while in a PSH program and were asked retrospectively about suicide behaviors and experiences prior to receiving PSH. Quantitative data regarding demographic characteristics, suicide ideation and attempts, substance abuse problems, mental health problems, number of homeless episodes, physical health problems, were gathered using the study questionnaire developed for the Cost Effectiveness project. Results: Results indicate that this sample of PHI reported thoughts and attempt of suicide more frequently than has been reported in the general population. Mental health disorders were associated with suicide ideation and attempts. Substance abuse problems were associated with suicide attempts at the bivariate level, but were not associated with suicide attempt when individual mental health disorders were added into logistic regression models. Chronic pain was associated with suicide ideation but not suicide attempt. Chronic pain remained a significant factor associated with suicide ideation after controlling for mental health disorders. Chronic homelessness, age, gender, race, and age when first homeless were not associated with suicide thoughts or attempt.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Social Work."
  • Strom-Gottfried, Kim
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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