The Homeless Families Research Briefs project, conducted by Abt Associates, is producing a series of research briefs on issues related to the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of families and children experiencing homelessness. Using data collected from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Family Options Study, these briefs build on the data and analysis already being conducted for HUD to answer additional questions of interest to HHS.
This brief builds on previous research by describing the behavioral health problems reported by 2,020 parents—including some fathers—at the outset of a shelter stay with their children and the association of these problems with parents’ prior experiences. For the purposes of this brief, behavioral health includes psychological distress, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).The brief then looks at changes in the parents’ behavioral health problems over the next 37 months and how those changes were related to housing stability following the episode of homelessness. (Edited author introduction)