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Title: A social psychological examination of homeless persons' attitudes and behavioural intentions towards their participation in outreach programmes
Author: Christian, J. N. T.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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The aim of this thesis is to investigate the attitudes and intentions of the homeless towards their outreach programme participation. Prior homeless research shows that much has been inferred about homeless persons' participation in outreach programmes but there has been comparatively little empirical research. Previous psychological research has focussed on the social behaviours of the homeless with the primary aim to determine the prevalence of mental illness and pathological behaviours. Whilst this research is informative, it does not directly address the issue of decision-making strategies homeless people employ to guide their intentions towards participation. From a review of the homeless literature two main shortcomings can be noted. First, the research has been atheoretical in nature; and second, the studies have assessed univariate dimensions. To address the shortcomings, a model extensively used in the field of social psychology was used as the theoretical model to guide the research in this thesis. The model was the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB, Ajzen, 1988; 1991) which examines the relationship between attitudes, intentions and behaviour. The TPB has been successfully applied in a variety of social situations. Within the context of this thesis, the TPB is used to derive hypotheses to predict the relationship between homeless peoples' attitudes and their intentions towards participation. Two main studies were conducted to test the theoretical framework, one in Central London (n=103) and the other in New York City (n=103). Generally, the results support the utility of the TPB as an exploratory framework in understanding homeless peoples' decision-making processes. Consistent with findings from the homeless literature, it was not unsurprising that very few homeless people actually participated in the outreach programmes. However, the components of the TPB significantly predicted homeless peoples' intention towards participation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available