Theses Doctoral

Resilience and Psychopathology among Homeless Young Women

Mazur, Marina Ester

The overall purpose of the present study is to contribute to a better understanding of the experiences of young homeless women residing at Covenant House New York, a youth shelter that provides crisis and long-term residential programs to young adults ages 18 – 21. The main objective was to identify past life events and their contributions to the development of positive traits and psychopathology among three groups. The participants were 162 homeless young women, including childfree women, young mothers enrolled at a transitional living Rights of Passage program (12-18 months), and young mothers in crisis enrolled in a 30-day Mother and Child Crisis program. Past life experiences were identified via the Effort to Outcome (ETO) online software database maintained by Covenant House New York. Rates of psychopathology were measured using the IIP (interpersonal problems), PHQ-9 (depression), GAD-7 (anxiety), PSS (parental stress) while rates of positive traits were measured using the SCS (self-compassion), SCBCS (compassion toward others), and PGIS (motivation to change). The results indicated that all participants, regardless of group affiliation, had similar life experiences, though childfree women were more likely to have a history of abandonment, physical abuse, and previous incidents of homelessness. Additionally, presence of abuse history was positively associated with development of psychopathology. As expected, history of sexual abuse was negatively associated with self-compassion, but it was positively associated with compassion toward others. Mothers at the Mother and Child Crisis program had greater rates of self-compassion than mothers at the Rights of Passage program, and childfree women were more likely than the mothers to be compassionate toward others. Mothers at the Mother and Child Crisis program were also more likely to be compassionate toward others than mothers at the Rights of Passage program. Childfree women, however, were more likely to be depressed than mothers at the Mother and Child Crisis program.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Miller, Lisa
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 16, 2018