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A Comparison of the Health and Mental Health Status of Homeless Mothers in Worcester, Mass: 1993 and 2003
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Noting that "[t]here have been few opportunities to compare the characteristics of homeless mothers over time," the authors examined two studies of homeless mothers conducted in Worcester, Mass: one in 1993 and the other in 2003. The authors compared the two studies on the following key variables: background characteristics, health status, and rates of mental health disorders and substance abuse. The authors found that "[h]omeless families taking part in the 2003 study were poorer than those taking part in the 1993 study, and female heads of household in that study reported more physical health limitations, major depressive illness, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Data from 2003 suggest that the characteristics of homeless mothers changed over the 10-year period assessed. Service providers and shelter staff may need to refine services so that they are responsive to these changing needs."
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