Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Homeless men-Psychology, Victims of violent crimes, Adjustment (Psychology), Qualitative research, Homelessness, Victimization, Danger, Coping skills


This qualitative study attempts to understand the safety concerns that homeless males have and how they cope with dangers. In-person, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 adult males who had been homeless after the age of 18. The interviews were conducted at an emergency men's shelter located in an urban East Coast city. This agency provided a safe space for individuals who fit the inclusionary criteria to participate in one on one interviews. Personal narratives were used in order to gain a more insightful, person centered understanding of specific dangers and coping skills used towards those dangers. Adult males was the population chosen due to a lack of current research around this population. Findings from this study show that the homeless experience is not homogenous and that individuals perceive and cope with dangers in their own manner. A variety of dangers were discussed and there was a range of coping skills used to address dangers. Folkman and Lazarus's theory of cognitive appraisal was used as a guide to cognize the findings. Implications of the findings for social work practice, policy and research are discussed with a focus on addressing the specificities of why it is important to recognize and understand these dangers and coping skills.




v, 51 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 37-42)