A Study of Substance Abuse, Traumata and Social Support Systems Among Homeless Veterans


This study examines gender differences in predictors of readmission to inpatient drug treatment programmes among homeless veterans. Veterans Affairs (V. A.) medical centers currently do not have services that are designed specifically for women, the impact of which this study also considers.


This study of homeless veterans, including 310 women and 315 men, who abuse substances, is designed to examine predictors of readmission to inpatient drug treatment in a two-year follow-up. It appears to be the first study of gender differences in predictors of readmission among homeless veterans, and it examines the possibilities that various social support systems mediate or moderate the relationships between different traumatic experiences over the life span and readmission. The findings show that social supports only partially mediate the relationships between traumata and readmission, and certain supports moderate some of these relationships, especially for women. The implications of these findings for understanding readmission of homeless substance abusers and for social services are discussed.

Full Reference

Benda, B., 2005. "A Study of Substance Abuse, Traumata, and Social Support Systems among Homeless Veterans", Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 12(1), 59-82.