Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
William M. Liu
Research literature on homelessness makes frequent reference to shame, but with little inquiry into the role shame may play in the lives of homeless men. This study used Consensual Qualitative Research methodology (Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997) to interview 24 men in a small Midwestern city to explore how homeless men experience shame. The results from this study indicate that shame is experienced as a "painful sense of worthlessness and failure" whereby men attribute their homelessness to their own perceived characterological flaws. To avoid the painful experience of shame and stigma, homeless men appear to develop and use defense strategies. While the defense strategies may help alleviate the effects of shame and stigma in the immediate, the strategies appear to negatively affect opportunities that facilitate an exodus from homelessness. This study also found that despite living in a transitional shelter, rare mention was made of plans to exit homelessness. Presented too are the limitations and implications of this research.
Attribution, Defenses, Homeless, Men, Shame, Stigma
vi, 128 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 113-128).
Copyright 2014 Kevin Fall