Impact of adulthood trauma on homeless mothers

Cheryl Zlotnick, Tammy Tam, Kimberly Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC), we found that among homeless mothers (n = 588), those living without their children were more likely to: be older than 35 years, unmarried, have been incarcerated, have been homeless for at least 1 year, and to have used psychiatric medication. Many homeless mothers had histories of childhood trauma, but it was the accumulation of adulthood traumas that was associated with not living with one's children. Without mental health treatment, younger homeless mothers living with their children today may become the homeless mothers living without their children in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-32
Number of pages20
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Martha Burt PhD and Linda Weinreb MD. This study was funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Substance Abuse Policy and Research Program #52826.


  • Adulthood trauma
  • Foster care
  • Homelessness
  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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