Date of Award
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology
Mary Peterson, PhD
Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD
Glena Andrews, PhD
Mothers with children represent a growing segment of the homeless population. The American Psychological Association (APA) responded to the problem by initiating a task force in 2009 calling psychologists to step forward and enhance the treatment and services available for this population. However, providing treatment is often a challenge for this population because of the power differential and other barriers that negatively impact the potential relationship between mental health providers and the person living in homelessness (Hoffman & Coffey, 2008). The use of a peer mentor to mitigate the risk factors for a specific population has been an effective intervention used by multiple support and advocacy groups (e.g. NAMI, AA). Building on research supporting the effectiveness of a peer-mentoring model, this study explored the impact of a mentoring program on the self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-perception of overall functioning for mothers experiencing homelessness. Using a repeated measures ANOVA design, this study compared the effectiveness of two mentoring approaches. One group of mentors were trained to incorporate a structured, brief intervention model (5A’s) into the meetings with their mentees versus a group of mentors using an unstructured approach for mentee meetings. Results showed that a four-session peer mentoring program significantly improved perceived overall functioning for both groups of mentees. However, the study did not find a statistical differences between the structured versus unstructured groups. Discussion and implications for future studies are included.
Hartman, Taylor D., "Mother-to-Mother: Creating A Peer Mentor Program for Mothers in Homelessness" (2016). Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). 213.