The Individual and Beyond: A Socio-Rational Choice Model of Service Participation Among Homeless Adults with Substance Abuse Problems
While substance user service programs can help homeless adults solve their substance use and housing problems, relatively few needy individuals use and complete these programs. The lack of participation is poorly explained by typical empirical studies, most of which consider the role in service participation of various personal traits and client problems. The current article instead seeks to explain service participation through the application of an alternative, "socio-rational choice" model. This model has three premises:
-Clients weigh the costs and benefits of participating in services against alternative uses of their time and resources.
-The clients' weighing procedures reflect their personal situations and perceptions of the treatment environment.
-The perceptions of their personal situations and perceptions of the treatment environment are affected by the manner in which clients react to representatives of service systems, members of their social network including both housed and homeless persons, and other individuals.
Secondary evidence supports many of the model's hypotheses and generally suggests that homeless clients may be heavily affected by their experiences with individuals and systems with which they come into contact. (Authors)
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