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Attributions and self-acceptance among homeless individuals : implications for behaviour and well-being Khan, Alisa R.

Abstract

Objective: The current study longitudinally examined the role of the attributions homeless individuals made for the cause of and solution to their homelessness in predicting their progress toward exiting homelessness as well as their psychological wellbeing. Attributions were measured according to Brickman and colleagues' (1982) model of helping and coping, which assesses the degree to which the cause of and solution to problems are attributed internally versus externally. We also investigated the role of global self-acceptance in predicting behaviour and well-being. Design: 69 individuals who were homeless in the previous 6 months were interviewed at baseline and 4-week follow-up. Attributions, self-acceptance, and several demographic variables were measured at baseline. Outcome variables included ratings of progress toward exiting homelessness based on coding the behaviours from participants' descriptions of their typical days, as well as depressive symptoms and satisfaction with life. Outcomes were measured both at baseline and follow-up. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that to the extent that participants made internal attributions for the cause of their homelessness, they made less progress towards exiting homelessness over the 4-week follow-up, whereas more internal attributions for the solution to homelessness predicted greater progress toward exiting homelessness. Results also indicated that greater self-acceptance predicted decreased depressive symptoms and increased satisfaction with life, while attributions about homelessness were not related to these well-being outcomes.

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