Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Sociology and Criminology

Advisor

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Committee Member

Casey Harris

Second Committee Member

Michael Niño

Keywords

alcohol abuse history, vulnerabilities, resources, drug abuse history, risk factors, interventions

Abstract

Alcohol misuse and abuse has been found to be a detrimental risk to individuals having significant impact on their overall health and well-being. Any comprehensive attempt at examining the intersection of alcohol abuse history along with one’s risks and resources as it relates to abuse history among homeless individuals is missing. Using in-depth interviews among homeless adults in Northwest Arkansas (n=168), the current study examines the role of social vulnerabilities, individual risks, and social and psychological resources in explaining alcohol abuse history. Findings support the hypothesis that a person’s vulnerabilities and risks are associated with alcohol abuse histories. Persons who had been jailed in the last year, experienced suicide ideation, and had a history of drug abuse had a greater chance of having any alcohol abuse history. The resource variables examined in the research were not significantly associated with alcohol abuse. The findings of this research focus on addressing how best to provide assistance to homeless persons in Northwest Arkansas and the importance of identifying those with greater risk to report alcohol abuse histories and what can and cannot serve as mitigators of that risk.

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