Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Classification Issues

10/01/2007

If there is general agreement that typological formulations are appropriate to consider for the description and management of homeless families, the following questions need to be addressed before beginning the search for subtypes:

  • Should the approach be theory driven or directed by blind empiricism? [Does it have to be an either-or?]
  • Should the typology work within a single domain of variables or should it be multi-dimensional?
  • Should the working material for the typology include individual and group strengths as well as risk factors?
  • Should the working material include cross sectional or longitudinal variables, family variables or individual characteristics?  What are the relative merits of disaggregating families from individuals? 
  • Is one typology going to be sufficient, or should there be several?
  • Is it better to focus on the causes or the consequences of homelessness?

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