Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing




Dr. Cheryl Forchuk

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Ray


Mental illnesses have a huge burden on individuals, families and society as a whole. Individuals with mental illness can experience an increase in housing instability (number of moves, number of undesirable moves and number of nights homeless). This problem creates a financial strain on the economy as well as on the individuals and families involved. This secondary analysis was carried out with 3 main goals: (1) to determine the relationship between overall support and housing instability, (2) to determine the relationship between social and family relations to housing instability, and (3) to compare the relationship between social and family relations of men and women. Data were collected through the Demographic Questionnaire, the Colorado Client Assessment Record (CCAR), the Lehman Quality of Life (QOL) (brief version) questionnaire, and the Housing History Survey (HHS) from 846 psychiatric consumer/survivors in a city in Southwestern Ontario. Correlational analyses supported an overall significant relationship between social and family relations and housing instability, however, family relations and numbers of nights homeless were not significantly related. Differences for both men and women were examined. Results indicate that having a strong level of family support greatly reduces the number of moves and number of undesirable moves for men. Women on the other hand, relied on their social networks of friends to reduce the number of nights they spent homeless. Implications for nursing practice and future directions for housing stability call for nurses to advocate at the systems level for increased income and affordable housing for individuals with a mental illness.



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