Michael Tully awarded graduate research scholarship to research social support and social identity among Irish homeless adults
Using standardized measures, participants engaged with homeless services in Dublin City are being surveyed on their levels of social support, their social identity, the number and perception of stressful events encountered, their drug use and their physical and mental health. Preliminary results will be discussed in terms of their implications for the social identity / self categorization model of stress in participants exposed to high levels of strain. The impact of social support and social identity will also be discussed in terms of explaining previous converse findings that, although social support can have stress-buffering effects for homeless participants, findings have also been reported where larger or more supportive networks are linked to higher substance abuse. Finally, the view of homelessness as a distinct identity and not an extreme form of poverty will also be discussed in relation to coping and stress appraisal.