Exploring homeless people’s use of outreach services: applying a social psychological perspective
Christian, J., Clapham, D. and Abrams, D. (2011) Exploring homeless people’s use of outreach services: applying a social psychological perspective. Housing Studies, 26 (5). pp. 681-699. ISSN 0267-3037
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2011.581910
A number of critiques have been published drawing attention to the gaps in research methods applied to issues surrounding homelessness and service utilisation in Britain. This paper discusses the use of social identity, a theory drawn from the field of applied social psychology, and synthesises it with the pathways model, thereby providing a framework to further explore service utilisation. The synthesised framework was used to predict the uptake of outreach services in a prospective study of 121 homeless people in a major UK city. In general, homeless people's use of intervention services was affected by the extent to which they identified with the support services themselves. The study demonstrates the central role of social identity in understanding service utilisation patterns, and shows the importance of applying fresh techniques to fine-tune our understanding of uptake in the long term.