There is growing recognition that social isolation and a lack of connectedness with social groups is one of the reasons why the subjective well-being of homeless individuals is generally worse than the rest of the population. Past research amongst a range of populations suggests that the ability of an individual to take on new group memberships and/or their ability to maintain their memberships in meaningful groups is an important predictor of well-being. In a mixed method study (N = 119), we examined the extent to which experiences at homeless accommodation form building blocks for the formation of multiple group memberships and to what extent this predicts positive well-being. Qualitative analysis reveals the importance of feeling connected to the homeless service and supported by homeless accommodation staff. Linking these data to quantitative data from a second wave, we found that these experiences predicted well-being. These findings provide further support for a strength-based approach to homelessness, by providing insights into the ways that experiences at homeless accommodation can contribute to the development of multiple group memberships (i.e. social capital), and enhance the well-being of those experiencing, and exiting, homelessness.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sept 2016|
- multiple identities
- social capital