Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Educational Statistics and Research Methods (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

W. Juo Lo

Committee Member

Ronna Turner

Second Committee Member

Kristin Higgins

Third Committee Member

Charles Stegman

Fourth Committee Member

Xinya Liang

Keywords

Social sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Homeless, Mental health, Substance use

Abstract

Homeless persons with co-occurring substance use combined with mental illness constitute a particularly vulnerable subgroup with complex service needs. Unfortunately, the capacity to deliver critical treatment services has been extremely limited causing many from this population to remain untreated. Untreated co-occurring disorders can lead to a host of difficulties for both the individual and the community (Bouchery, Harwood, Sacks, Simon, & Brewer, 2011). Developing community based intervention services in Arkansas is a key activity necessary in strategically addressing this problem (Barbee, Gonzales, & Shelor, 2016). In partnership with the Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, a local community treatment provider piloted the Arkansas Treatment for the Homeless program in an attempt to improve substance use, housing, and mental health outcomes for this complex population and to reduce disparities in outcomes among demographic sub-populations within this group. The innovative hybrid program used concepts from the existing Continuum of Care and Housing First models. This study was a secondary analysis examining this program’s effectiveness in reducing mental health symptomology among program participants. As a part of the original evaluation, all participants were asked to complete structured interviews across three time points in which they reported the number of mental health symptoms they were experiencing. The repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) with several conditions (i.e., gender, with or without social support, and young vs. old) as the between-subjects factors and time as the within-subjects factor were conducted with 121 client records. Results indicated that participants experienced a significant decrease in negative mental health symptoms across time. However, none of between-subjects effects were found significant. Findings show that this community based program can improve mental health outcomes among this high risk population.