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Attachment and mental health in homelessness: Theory and practice

Attachment and mental health in homelessness: Theory and practice
Attachment and mental health in homelessness: Theory and practice
Homelessness is a complicated, multifaceted issue (Anderson & Rayens, 2004) that can be examined on both a macro and micro level. However, there has been a lack of examination of the micro level, e.g. childhood experiences, insecure attachment styles in the homeless population in terms of mental health issues and maladaptive behaviours. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the experiences of homeless people and how their situation is maintained by identifying their mental health issues and the factors which underpin this (e.g., attachment styles, childhood abuse). It also explores the maladaptive behaviours which lead them to become homeless in the first place, and how this situation is maintained.
This thesis starts with a theoretical framework of attachment theory (Chapter 2), followed by the main methodological concepts of this thesis (Chapter 3). This is followed by a systematic review of 19 studies that focused on exploring attachment styles and mental health issues within clinical populations from a trans-diagnostic approach (Chapter 4). Subsequently, it investigated the attachment mechanisms related to homelessness and continues by using a realist lens to explore the final 15 studies (Chapter 5). Chapter 6 aimed to investigate attachment styles among homeless people and examined the degree to which adverse childhood experiences affect attachment styles. The study focuses on the homeless group (N=124) and also compared them with a non-clinical (N= 214) sample, and used a cross-sectional design. The main findings were that greater levels of insecure attachment and childhood adversity were present in the homeless participants in comparison to those in the non-clinical group. The second empirical study, which used the same method, aimed to examine the mechanisms of mental health issues that play a part in maladaptive behaviours and repeated homelessness, as well as the role of historical factors. The primary findings showed that high levels of mental health issues and maladaptive behaviours were found in the homeless population. In addition, a number of mental health issues were found to be significant in relation to chronicity of homelessness (Chapter 7). The last empirical study aimed to explore the knowledge staff working with homeless people have of psychologically informed environments (PIEs) and attachment theory (Chapter 8). The researcher used a qualitative design, which took the form of semi-structured interviews of 16 participants, and four themes were identified. In short, during the research, quantitative and qualitative studies were included, and the relative clinical implications and future research were addressed.
The work in this thesis provides an explanation of the role of historical factors, such as childhood trauma and attachment styles, that underpin mental health issues. In addition, it also highlights which mental health mechanisms influenced maladaptive behaviour and repeated homelessness. Furthermore, this is the first piece of research to test the repeated homelessness model as a whole, as well as include a study conducted among staff who work with homeless people, in order to explore their knowledge around PIEs and attachment theory. The main contribution of this thesis is that it identifies and explains in depth the relationships between the underpinning factors and mental health issues that play a role in repeated homelessness, and the findings provide future direction for targeting mental health issues within homeless populations.
University of Southampton
Aldegmani, Gada Hassan M
fac6fae2-a7e1-40f9-b4dc-2d9e3cbe61cc
Aldegmani, Gada Hassan M
fac6fae2-a7e1-40f9-b4dc-2d9e3cbe61cc
Maguire, Nicholas
ebc88e0a-3c1e-4b3a-88ac-e1dad740011b

Aldegmani, Gada Hassan M (2022) Attachment and mental health in homelessness: Theory and practice. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 486pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Homelessness is a complicated, multifaceted issue (Anderson & Rayens, 2004) that can be examined on both a macro and micro level. However, there has been a lack of examination of the micro level, e.g. childhood experiences, insecure attachment styles in the homeless population in terms of mental health issues and maladaptive behaviours. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the experiences of homeless people and how their situation is maintained by identifying their mental health issues and the factors which underpin this (e.g., attachment styles, childhood abuse). It also explores the maladaptive behaviours which lead them to become homeless in the first place, and how this situation is maintained.
This thesis starts with a theoretical framework of attachment theory (Chapter 2), followed by the main methodological concepts of this thesis (Chapter 3). This is followed by a systematic review of 19 studies that focused on exploring attachment styles and mental health issues within clinical populations from a trans-diagnostic approach (Chapter 4). Subsequently, it investigated the attachment mechanisms related to homelessness and continues by using a realist lens to explore the final 15 studies (Chapter 5). Chapter 6 aimed to investigate attachment styles among homeless people and examined the degree to which adverse childhood experiences affect attachment styles. The study focuses on the homeless group (N=124) and also compared them with a non-clinical (N= 214) sample, and used a cross-sectional design. The main findings were that greater levels of insecure attachment and childhood adversity were present in the homeless participants in comparison to those in the non-clinical group. The second empirical study, which used the same method, aimed to examine the mechanisms of mental health issues that play a part in maladaptive behaviours and repeated homelessness, as well as the role of historical factors. The primary findings showed that high levels of mental health issues and maladaptive behaviours were found in the homeless population. In addition, a number of mental health issues were found to be significant in relation to chronicity of homelessness (Chapter 7). The last empirical study aimed to explore the knowledge staff working with homeless people have of psychologically informed environments (PIEs) and attachment theory (Chapter 8). The researcher used a qualitative design, which took the form of semi-structured interviews of 16 participants, and four themes were identified. In short, during the research, quantitative and qualitative studies were included, and the relative clinical implications and future research were addressed.
The work in this thesis provides an explanation of the role of historical factors, such as childhood trauma and attachment styles, that underpin mental health issues. In addition, it also highlights which mental health mechanisms influenced maladaptive behaviour and repeated homelessness. Furthermore, this is the first piece of research to test the repeated homelessness model as a whole, as well as include a study conducted among staff who work with homeless people, in order to explore their knowledge around PIEs and attachment theory. The main contribution of this thesis is that it identifies and explains in depth the relationships between the underpinning factors and mental health issues that play a role in repeated homelessness, and the findings provide future direction for targeting mental health issues within homeless populations.

Text
Gada Aldegmani PhD thesis - final copy - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 14 September 2023.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Text
Gada Aldegmani Permission to deposit thesis form (2)[41]
Restricted to Repository staff only

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Published date: 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 470971
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/470971
PURE UUID: bc2fda61-6889-45f1-acbc-5eb2a8c8d5b1
ORCID for Gada Hassan M Aldegmani: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3040-6656
ORCID for Nicholas Maguire: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4295-8068

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Date deposited: 21 Oct 2022 16:40
Last modified: 25 Oct 2022 01:48

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Contributors

Author: Gada Hassan M Aldegmani ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Nicholas Maguire ORCID iD

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