Rethinking Research on Forming Typologies of Homelessness

McAllister, William; Lennon, Mary Clare; Kuang, Li

In homelessness research and policymaking, it seems to be axiomatic that single adults experience 3 temporally based types of homelessness: chronic, episodic, and transitional. We discuss problems with the theorization of this typology and with the research design, data analysis, and time-aggregated conceptualization and measurement of temporality in the empirical work supporting the typology. To address the latter, we suggest a time-patterned approach to temporality and report a 10-group typology that differs significantly from the more familiar 3-group typology. We argue that which approach is used—and how typologies are developed more generally—should be based on theory and the uses to which typologies are put rather than on claims to being more true.


Also Published In

American Journal of Public Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Published Here
July 23, 2012