Discrimination and well-being amongst the homeless: The role of multiple group membership

Melissa Johnstone*, Jolanda Jetten, Genevieve A. Dingle, Cameron Parsell, Zoe C. Walter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
996 Downloads (Pure)


The homeless are a vulnerable population in many respects. Those experiencing homelessness not only experience personal and economic hardship they also frequently face discrimination and exclusion because of their housing status. Although past research has shown that identifying with multiple groups can buffer against the negative consequences of discrimination on well-being, it remains to be seen whether such strategies protect well-being of people who are homeless. We investigate this issue in a longitudinal study of 119 individuals who were homeless. The results showed that perceived group-based discrimination at T1 was associated with fewer group memberships, and lower subsequent well-being at T2. There was no relationship between personal discrimination at T1 on multiple group memberships at T2. The findings suggest that the experience of group-based discrimination may hinder connecting with groups in the broader social world - groups that could potentially protect the individual against the negative impact of homelessness and discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number739
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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