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Soc. Sci., Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Syrian Women and the Refugee Crisis: Surviving the Conflict, Building Peace, and Taking New Gender Roles
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030110
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Women and men experience conflicts differently. Women, even as non-combatants, suffer a great harm. Wars are gendered, both in causes and consequences. Women are deliberately excluded from formal peace negotiations. Work done for the reconstruction of conflict ridden societies, fail to recognize with
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Women and men experience conflicts differently. Women, even as non-combatants, suffer a great harm. Wars are gendered, both in causes and consequences. Women are deliberately excluded from formal peace negotiations. Work done for the reconstruction of conflict ridden societies, fail to recognize with women’s realities and needs. Despite that, women have remained influential at the grassroots level in peace-building and rehabilitation. The paper uses the example of Syria, to explore beyond the most prominent perception of women borne out of an armed conflict, i.e., of the ‘victims of war’ and assesses, in how many different ways women have survived the Syrian conflict and have made efforts for peace, informally and formally, challenging the narrative of women as just a group with special needs and requirements. For this purpose, the paper has content analysis of the previous research, data, reports, mainstream news articles, and other relevant information on the topics of housing, food, health, work and financial security, changed roles, isolation, and gender-based violence to understand how women’s role in all these spheres are shaping new narratives for women, peace and security, distinct from the prevalent existing ones. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Male and Female Emirati Medical Clerks’ Perceptions of the Impact of Gender and Mobility on Their Professional Careers
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030109
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Medicine has undergone profound changes in terms of the number of women entering the profession with postulated implications of this ‘feminization’ for the profession. The present phenomenological study sought to gain insight into the experiences of final year male and female Emirati
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Background: Medicine has undergone profound changes in terms of the number of women entering the profession with postulated implications of this ‘feminization’ for the profession. The present phenomenological study sought to gain insight into the experiences of final year male and female Emirati medical students (clerks) in terms of the impact of gender on their careers. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 of the 27 clerks. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Findings: There was consensus that the gender profile of medicine in the United Arab Emirates was changing as opportunities emerged for Emirati women to branch into different medical specialties. These opportunities were, however, local or regional due largely to travel restrictions on women. Females would thus receive a less highly regarded board certification than males who were encouraged to specialize abroad. On their return, males would be appointed as consultants or as high-ranking administrators. Participants also acknowledged that like their roles in their society, some medical specialties were ‘gendered’, e.g., surgery (male) and pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology (female). Conclusion: Although religious and cultural traditions around gender and mobility will influence the professional careers of male and female Emirati medical graduates, the situation is, however, changing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender) Printed Edition available
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Disadvantaged Status and Health Matters Networks among Low-Income African American Women
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030108
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
A significant gap in current network research relates to understanding the factors that shape the health matters (HM) networks of marginalized, socially disadvantaged populations. This is noteworthy, given that these networks represent a critical resource for mitigating the adverse health effects of both
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A significant gap in current network research relates to understanding the factors that shape the health matters (HM) networks of marginalized, socially disadvantaged populations. This is noteworthy, given that these networks represent a critical resource for mitigating the adverse health effects of both acute and chronic strains associated with marginalized status. Further, research has suggested that the networks of such populations—especially low-income African American women—are unique, and may operate in substantively different ways than those of other groups. Using two waves of data from a sample of low-income African American women, this research identifies the demographic, health status, and health behavior measures at time one that correspond to HM network characteristics at time two, six months later. This study offers preliminary insights on the relationship between key sociodemographic and health status characteristics of low-income African American women and their HM networks, including criminal justice involvement. Findings reveal that though poorer health status and criminal justice involvement correspond to smaller health matters networks, they also correspond to more active and supportive networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Networks and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Linking Group Theory to Social Science Game Theory: Interaction Grammars, Group Subcultures and Games for Comparative Analysis
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030107
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
This article draws on earlier work in social system theorizing and analysis—in particular, the theory of social rule systems. On the basis of this foundational work, its aim is to systematically link theories of social groups and organizations, on the one hand, and
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This article draws on earlier work in social system theorizing and analysis—in particular, the theory of social rule systems. On the basis of this foundational work, its aim is to systematically link theories of social groups and organizations, on the one hand, and social science game and interaction theory, on the other hand. Rule system theory has contributed to significant features of group theory and social science game theory. It is a cultural-institutional approach to conceptualizing group systems and games. We explore how groups and their particular games can be effectively described, analyzed, and compared—and their similarities and differences identified on a systematic basis. For illustrative purposes, we present a selection of several ideal types of groups: a military unit, a terrorist group, a recreational or social group, a research group, and a business entity, each of whom has a distinct rule configuration making for particular “rules of the game” and game patterns of interaction and outcome. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perception of Tourism Impact and Support Tourism Development in Terengganu, Malaysia
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030106
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Tourism is a prominent industry with the capability to generate income for developed as well as developing countries. However, studies are still lacking, particularly those specifically investigating the perception of local residents towards tourism. The perception of the locals is important,
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(1) Background: Tourism is a prominent industry with the capability to generate income for developed as well as developing countries. However, studies are still lacking, particularly those specifically investigating the perception of local residents towards tourism. The perception of the locals is important, since it could determine the extent of their support for tourism development. In addition, previous research has found that male residents are more supportive towards tourism development. Therefore, this factor is adapted in this study to additionally examine whether gender may influence the tourism industry. (2) Methods: This study used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique for determining the structural estimates between constructs. (3) Results: The respondents agree that positive perception, negative perception and tourism impact have a significant impact on support for tourism development, which has been recognized as a Social Exchange Theory model. Moreover, the findings also reveal that gender has the potential to moderate the causal effects of tourism impact on tourism development. (4) Conclusion: The residents understand the tourism sector could strengthen the national economy, but they also want natural resources to be protected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gender Difference in the Influence of Family Interaction and Parenting Behaviours on Youth Sexual Intention
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030105
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents the differences in family interaction and parenting behaviours and their influence on sexual intention among male and female youths aged 18 to 22 years. The results presented are based on data collected from unmarried college students in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
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This paper presents the differences in family interaction and parenting behaviours and their influence on sexual intention among male and female youths aged 18 to 22 years. The results presented are based on data collected from unmarried college students in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Despite being in a country where premarital sexual activity is not an accepted behaviour, 18% of the 422 male and 1.4% of the 566 female students indicated their intention to perform sexual activity. Compared to females, males had more allowance of autonomy from parents and lesser parental monitoring, paternal care, parent-youth communication on sexual issues, and family connectedness. Both genders perceived that they received similar levels of parental control. In male youths, having high maternal control (OR: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.03–1.38) and family modelling behaviour (OR: 2.25, 95% CI: 1.19–4.25) increased their odds of having sexual intention while having high parent-youth communication on sex (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.81–0.99) reduced their odds of having sexual intention. For female youths, having a high level of family connectedness (OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.59–0.97) was a protective factor against sexual intention. In conclusion, sexual intention is higher among males compared to females. The influence of family interaction and parenting behaviours on youth sexual decision varied across gender. This study highlighted the possibility of using different parenting approaches in tackling premarital sexual activity among youths. Full article
Open AccessArticle Images of Authentic Muslim Selves: Gendered Moralities and Constructions of Arab Others in Contemporary Indonesia
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030103
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
In contemporary Indonesia, Muslims increasingly define themselves by othering fellow Muslims, including Arab Muslims. This article examines how Indonesian Muslims, who have traveled to and/or resided in the Middle East, construct their social identities in relation to Arab others. Ethnographic research with labor
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In contemporary Indonesia, Muslims increasingly define themselves by othering fellow Muslims, including Arab Muslims. This article examines how Indonesian Muslims, who have traveled to and/or resided in the Middle East, construct their social identities in relation to Arab others. Ethnographic research with labor migrants and pilgrims, and a cultural analysis of cinematic representations of Indonesian students in Cairo, show that conceptions of gendered moralities feature strongly in the ways in which these particular Indonesian Muslims define their authentic Muslim selves, as distinct from Arab others. They attribute ideal male and female characteristic features to Asian Islamic identities, while they portray objectionable ones as Arab culture. This implies that self-representations play a crucial role in the ways in which Indonesian Muslims relate to a region, culture and people long viewed as the “center” of Islamic culture. The representations of Arab others and Indonesian selves eventually lead to contestations of religious authenticity and social class. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Who Can I Turn To? Emotional Support Availability in African American Social Networks
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030104
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
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Abstract
African Americans disproportionately experience psychological distress, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness and are disproportionately exposed to risk factors associated with mental illness, such as racial discrimination, violence and poverty. To effectively address African Americans’ mental health needs, it is imperative
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African Americans disproportionately experience psychological distress, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness and are disproportionately exposed to risk factors associated with mental illness, such as racial discrimination, violence and poverty. To effectively address African Americans’ mental health needs, it is imperative to identify who African Americans turn to when they experience stressors. The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which emotional support is provided within African Americans’ social networks and determine the characteristics of social network members who African Americans rely upon for emotional support. Results indicate that African Americans rely on social network members for spiritual and physical health support more so than emotional support. Among both male and female participants, social network members were significantly more likely to be relied upon for emotional support if they were a non-familial network contact, had a close relationship to the participant, and if they also were someone the participant spoke to about his or her physical health. Findings have implications for the development of culturally-sensitive strategies for increasing emotional support provision within African Americans’ social networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Networks and Mental Health)
Open AccessConference Report Foundational Gender Theory for a Dangerous World: Intersectional Gender Seminar in the Fight against Rape Culture
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030102
Received: 21 May 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper focuses on a team-taught gender studies colloquium in the spring term of 2016 at Phillips Academy at Andover. Having heard the loud and clear message coming down from college campuses and being familiar with their harrowing statistics of gender-based violence and
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This paper focuses on a team-taught gender studies colloquium in the spring term of 2016 at Phillips Academy at Andover. Having heard the loud and clear message coming down from college campuses and being familiar with their harrowing statistics of gender-based violence and sexual assault, we knew that we must educate high-school students about gender theory, gender-based violence, and sexual-assault prevention as early as possible. The course introduced students to foundational texts in intersectional gender theory and key concepts as they are understood and used in critical interdisciplinary studies of gender. We explored how these concepts are taken up from different perspectives to address specific social problems, particularly rape culture—actions, events, and attitudes that normalize, trivialize, and highlight an overarching pattern of sexual assault, more often than not directed at women—and the implications of these critical approaches for thinking about and acting in the world. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Web of Loneliness: A Netnographic Study of Narratives of Being Alone in an Online Context
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030101
Received: 18 June 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Using a netnographic and case-study-based approach, this article uses different blogs as data in order to analyse how loneliness is conceptualized and understood. More precisely, the study aims to investigate experiences of loneliness and related themes in the context of online communication. In
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Using a netnographic and case-study-based approach, this article uses different blogs as data in order to analyse how loneliness is conceptualized and understood. More precisely, the study aims to investigate experiences of loneliness and related themes in the context of online communication. In approaching the nature of loneliness, we have analytically leaned on the theories and some of the most basic assumptions of symbolic interactionism, according to which, social encounters and situations, their qualities and their existence, have a profound impact on emotional life. This study can be read as an archaeology of online loneliness and the findings suggest that the experiences of online loneliness can be categorized in different genres, such as the poetics of loneliness, the diagnostics and self-harm of loneliness, and loneliness and family life. Although loneliness is approached and discussed differently, the bloggers’ estranged relationships to society tie these identified genres of loneliness together. The different genres derive their character, form and social dynamics from the narrators’ struggle and urge to somehow find a way to fit into contemporary society and achieve satisfying social relationships. Furthermore, displaying and presenting the self, and thus becoming the object of other people’s attention and interest, in the context of online communication, can be a profound way of reconnecting to society and hopefully avoiding isolation and marginalization. Full article
Open AccessArticle Shia Marriage Practices: Karbala as lieux de mémoire in London
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030100
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Muslim marriages have gained much attention in public debates and academic research. This article examines marriage practices among displaced Iraqi Shia migrants in the UK. Only a few studies have examined this group and fewer by investigating their marriage practices as a way
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Muslim marriages have gained much attention in public debates and academic research. This article examines marriage practices among displaced Iraqi Shia migrants in the UK. Only a few studies have examined this group and fewer by investigating their marriage practices as a way to preserve their religious and cultural memory (Halbwachs 1992). The article is based on Pierre Nora’s concept of lieux de mémoire, which refers to spaces, objects or events that have a significant meaning to a particular groups’ collective memory (Nora 1989, 1996). I argue in this paper that the transnational aspects of cultural memory expressed in Shia marriage practices such as rituals, images, and objects among the Iraqi Twelver Shia women in the UK can be regarded as examples of transnational Shia lieux de mémoire. These marriage practices, although appropriated for various personal, social, and religious memories outside of any national framework, are still highly politicized. The article focuses on the practice of sofrat al-‘aqd (for short sofra) that provides women with the ability to articulate their religious and social identity through material objects placed on the sofra that act as women’s transnational Shia lieux de mémoire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle New Kinds of (Ab)normal?: Public Pedagogies, Affect, and Youth Mental Health in the Digital Age
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030099
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Academic, policy, and public concerns are intensifying around how to respond to increasing mental health problems amongst young people in OECD countries such as the UK and Australia. In this paper we make the case that public knowledge about mental health promotion, help-seeking,
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Academic, policy, and public concerns are intensifying around how to respond to increasing mental health problems amongst young people in OECD countries such as the UK and Australia. In this paper we make the case that public knowledge about mental health promotion, help-seeking, support and recovery can be understood as an enactment of public pedagogy—as knowledge practices and processes that are produced within and beyond formal spaces of learning. We explore the question of how new pedagogic modes of address are produced through digital technologies—social media, gamified therapies, e-mental health literacy, wearable technology—as they invite particular ways of knowing embodied distress as “mental illness or ill health.” The rapid growth of formal and informal pedagogical sites for learning about youth mental health raises questions about the affective arrangements that produce new kinds of (ab)normal in the digital era. Through a posthumanist perspective that connects critical mental health studies and public pedagogy, this paper offers an original contribution that theorises pedagogic sites within the cultural formation of public-personal knowledge about mental (ill) health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pedagogies of Health: The Role of Technology)
Open AccessArticle What Does It Mean to Be a Woman? An Exploratory Study of Femininities among Mazandarani, Azeri and Kurdish Female University Students in Iran
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030098
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
This exploratory study investigated women’s perceptions of femininity among Mazandarani, Azeri and Kurdish female university students in Iran. The study was conducted using interviews with sixteen female university students. Analysis of interviews revealed that three main components predicted general understandings of the concept
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This exploratory study investigated women’s perceptions of femininity among Mazandarani, Azeri and Kurdish female university students in Iran. The study was conducted using interviews with sixteen female university students. Analysis of interviews revealed that three main components predicted general understandings of the concept of femininity: personality traits such as emotionality and dependency, engaging in domestic and caregiving activities in private spaces, and beauty and sexual competition as intrinsic feminine attributes. There was also a general tendency among participants to approach femininity from metaphysical and biological essentialist approaches. Based on the extracted components and interviewees’ articulation of the concept, four types of femininity were recognized: passive, traditional, independent and active. Passive femininity was observed among Azeri and Kurdish students; traditional and independent types existed among students of all three groups and active femininity was observed in the Mazandarani students group. Findings suggest that despite the persisting traditional perceptions and despite differences between student groups, the traditional perceptions of femininity have undergone great transformations in all groups of university students, and the traditional model has been widely re-conceptualized. Based on results, we discuss that it is more accurate to speak of femininities, rather than femininity as a singular and homogeneous concept. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mattering Moralities: Learning Corporeal Modesty through Muslim Diasporic Clothing Practices
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030097
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Questions of ‘coveredness’ in Islamic codes of dress, particularly as they apply to women, are often framed through the symbolic statements that they enable or disable, or through discourses on public versus private spaces. Rather than focus on these disciplining dimensions, this article
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Questions of ‘coveredness’ in Islamic codes of dress, particularly as they apply to women, are often framed through the symbolic statements that they enable or disable, or through discourses on public versus private spaces. Rather than focus on these disciplining dimensions, this article explores observations about embodied practices for clothing oneself ‘modestly’, and some of the paradoxes thereof, which emerged in the context of research about diasporic mobilities of European-Moroccans in Morocco. Drawing heavily on Karen Barad and a materialist phenomenological approach to corporeality, this approach produces an understanding of how moral bodies materialize with and through clothing. By observing and following the mobilities of participants across spaces dominated by ‘Muslim’ and ‘Western’ regimes of modesty, certain dissonances of their practices in these differentiated spaces indicate ways bodies, clothing and moralities are intra-actively entangled. Proposing ethnography as a diffractive apparatus, the analysis incorporates participant reports, as well as embodied learning through ethnographic time. By approaching this ‘disciplining’ diffractively, all agents–knowledgeable bodies, malleable clothes and spatially moral gazes–are considered as intra-actively influencing each other, mattering into ‘modesty’ where ‘subjected’ bodies, as well as clothing and regimes of modesty are adapting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Social Network Decay as Potential Recovery from Homelessness: A Mixed Methods Study in Housing First Programming
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030096
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
The positive relationship between social support and mental health has been well documented, but individuals experiencing chronic homelessness face serious disruptions to their social networks. Housing First (HF) programming has been shown to improve health and stability of formerly chronically homeless individuals. However,
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The positive relationship between social support and mental health has been well documented, but individuals experiencing chronic homelessness face serious disruptions to their social networks. Housing First (HF) programming has been shown to improve health and stability of formerly chronically homeless individuals. However, researchers are only just starting to understand the impact HF has on residents’ individual social integration. The purpose of the current study was to describe and understand changes in social networks of residents living in a HF program. Researchers employed a longitudinal, convergent parallel mixed method design, collecting quantitative social network data through structured interviews (n = 13) and qualitative data through semi-structured interviews (n = 20). Quantitative results demonstrated a reduction in network size over the course of one year. However, increases in both network density and frequency of contact with network members increased. Qualitative interviews demonstrated a strengthening in the quality of relationships with family and housing providers and a shedding of burdensome and abusive relationships. These results suggest network decay is a possible indicator of participants’ recovery process as they discontinued negative relationships and strengthened positive ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Networks and Mental Health)
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