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Examining racial differences in community integration between black and white homeless veterans.

Novacek DM, Wynn JK, Gabrielian S, Glynn SM, Hellemann G, Horan WP, Kern RS, Lee J, Marder SR, Sugar C, Green MF. Examining racial differences in community integration between black and white homeless veterans. Psychiatry Research. 2022 Feb 1; 308:114385.

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Abstract:

Black Americans are overrepresented in Veteran and non-Veteran homeless populations. Community integration remains a problem for many Veterans after they obtain housing, and Black Veterans may encounter additional difficulties due to systemic racism. However, no prior study has specifically examined whether there are racial differences in community integration; similarly, no study has considered racial differences in psychosocial correlates of community integration in homeless Veterans. Knowledge of these factors could inform the development of culturally congruent rehabilitative interventions for Black Veterans. Semi-structured clinical interviews were administered to Black (N  =  99) and White (N  =  49) homeless Veterans to examine relations among psychiatric symptoms, motivation, and community integration domains (e.g., social integration, work productivity, and independent living). There were no significant racial differences in independent living or work productivity. Black Veterans had better social integration with family compared to White Veterans. In addition, psychiatric symptoms were more strongly correlated with social integration for Black than White Veterans. The association between motivation and work productivity was also stronger for Black Veterans. Recovery-oriented interventions could harness family connections and better target psychiatric symptoms to improve community integration for Black Veterans. Work productivity may improve from interventions aimed at enhancing motivation for Black Veterans.





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