Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Studies Unable to Examine Subpopulations or Regional/State Differences

10/01/2007

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) uses a national area probability sample; collects information on health, illness, and disability that could be usefully examined in relationship to literal and at-risk homelessness; and regularly includes supplemental questions. The major challenge with the NHIS is its sample size. With a total sample of 43,000 and using a 1.5 percent yearly incidence rate of family homelessness (Burt et al., 1999), the NHIS would likely produce 600 to 700 cases per cohort and would not provide the ability to examine specific subgroups or data on homelessness at any level other than national.

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