FINANCE / HOUSING

The Association Between Interpersonal Violence and Unstable Housing Among Veterans

Article

This paper aims to determine whether there is a link between unstable housing and interpersonal violence in veterans.

Abstract

Despite programs to address housing for Veterans, they continue to be at high risk of unstable housing. Interpersonal violence is also highly prevalent among Veterans and may contribute to unstable housing. Our study aimed to determine whether interpersonal violence was associated with unstable housing among Veterans, and how this association was influenced by common co-occurring conditions such as substance use and mental illness. Veterans who had experienced interpersonal violence had almost twice the odds of unstable housing after adjustment for age and sex (AOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2–3.0). This association was attenuated in the fully adjusted model including substance use, PTSD, and other mental illness, illustrating the interdependence of these factors (AOR 1.5, 95% CI 0.91–2.5). Subtypes of interpersonal violence were individually associated with increased odds of unstable housing after adjustment for age and sex (physical abuse AOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2–2.5; mugging/physical attack AOR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.7; sexual violence AOR 1.4, 95% CI 0.89–2.2), but were no longer significant in the fully adjusted model. Previous experiences of interpersonal violence were associated with unstable housing among Veterans. Substance use, PTSD, and other mental illness played an important role in this relationship—highlighting the potential to improve health outcomes through trauma informed approaches that address mental health, substance use, and housing concurrently.

Full Reference

Anita S Hargrave, MD, Leigh Kimberg, MD, Edward L Machtinger, MD, Margot B Kushel, MD, Beth E Cohen, MD, MAS, The Association Between Interpersonal Violence and Unstable Housing Among Veterans, Military Medicine, 2022;, usab557, https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usab557