Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2018


Homeless, Gender, PTSD, Complex PTSD, Childhood Abuse, Advocacy


The current study examined the potential relationship between homelessness, gender, and occurrence of Post-Traumatic Distress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD. Participants were 90 homeless persons from shelters located in a large, South Central Texas, metropolitan city of approximately 1.9 million persons. The study found that homeless participants reported high levels of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Homeless women reported higher rates of childhood abuse and were affected by PTSD at a higher frequency than homeless males. PTSD, Complex PTSD, and traumatic experiences such as childhood abuse appear to be contributing factors to homelessness. Results suggest the need for increased advocacy among counseling and psychology professionals is warranted for homeless persons experiencing PTSD.


This article was published in the Journal for Social Action in Counseling & Psychology under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No-Derivatives 4.0 International license as:

de Vries, S. R., Juhnke, G. A., & Trahan Keene, C. (Winter 2018). PTSD, complex PTSD, and childhood abuse: Gender difference among a homeless sample. Journal for Social Action in Counseling & Psychology, 10(2), 1-15.