SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The authors of this study used participatory and interpretive methods to capture the lived experience, strengths, and needs of homeless mothers. The interview data obtained challenge unfounded stereotypes and provide information about women's coping behaviors and resilience. The findings were developed in collaboration with shelter guests and staff and have important implications for public and university policy and shelter programs. For example, researchers need to become more aware of the limitations of current psychological theories and assessment tools designed to measure “effective coping” in disenfranchised individuals. To accomplish this goal, increased collaboration among researchers, activists, policy makers, and homeless families is recommended (e.g., by instituting roundtable discussions as a standard part of shelter programs). It is also suggested that professional staff who work with women living in poverty avoid using deficit-oriented, victim-based models of intervention, and that staff provide women with opportunities to participate in the development of the curriculum for parenting classes.