First Advisor

Greg Townley

Term of Graduation

Summer 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology






Homelessness, Reproductive Justice, Rural, Transitional Housing, Unhoused women



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 229 pages)


Women account for a sizeable proportion of the unhoused population in the U.S. Over one-third (38.7%) of unhoused individuals are women, which is a 17% increase from 2016 (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2019). The increased prevalence of women experiencing homelessness calls for a renewed examination of their service needs. This dissertation presents three studies examining factors impacting the service needs of unhoused women. The first manuscript examined factors contributing to unhoused mothers’ successful completion of transitional housing; highlighted participant-identified programmatic strengths; and investigated differences in facilitators to success across two geographic contexts: one rural and one urban. Quantitative findings indicated that level of social support and education were significant predictors of successful program exit. Qualitative interviews with program residents highlighted differences in supportive factors across the two contexts. The second manuscript is a literature review examining unhoused women’s barriers to reproductive justice (i.e., contraception, prenatal care, and abortion), which were identified across multiple (i.e., individual, relational, and context) levels of analysis. The third manuscript is a qualitative study that identified barriers to optimal service delivery, unmet service needs, meaning assigned to contraceptive practices, and linkages between empowerment and reproductive experiences. Collectively, these three manuscripts contribute to a deeper understanding of unhoused women’s service needs and inform research and programming aimed at improving the housing and healthcare experiences of this population.


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Persistent Identifier

Available for download on Wednesday, August 07, 2024

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