PSY 150, General Psychology
May 8, 2014
Biological Factors of Homelessness
Sheila McKehnie said, “People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.” This illustrates the important point that we cannot dismiss a person’s human dignity simply because he or she lives on the street. On the contrary, we need to acknowledge their equality and think about the endless factors that could have put these people on the streets. There are many biological and social factors that can lead to homelessness, but this essay will be focused on some key biological factors. Three major biological factors related to becoming or being homeless are stress, achievement motivation, and mental illness.
According to Mark Krause and Daniel Corts (2012), stress is “a psychological and physiological reaction that occurs when perceived demands exceed …show more content…
Conference of Mayors, mental illness is the third largest cause of homelessness for single adults (2009, para. 1). If a person has a serious enough mental illness, many essential aspects of daily life become impossible to carry out. They may be unable to take care of themselves at all, let alone manage a house or a job. Besides being unable to take care of themselves, they may not let others take care of them. A mental illness can hinder “forming or maintaining stable relationships,” (2009, para.3). A person with such an illness will push away caregivers, friends and families that could be the only thing keeping them from being left on the streets. Someone who is mentally ill has lost their grip on reality, and therefore has a difficult time living in the real world. As a result of this, they would be unable to maintain a career or a normal family life. These factors, along with the general stress of living with a mental disorder, are the reasons many more mentally ill people are found living on the streets than those who are mentally