Family homelessness, particularly of mothers and their children, continues to remain an unfortunate epidemic throughout the United States. Personal, relational, and systemic adversity and trauma leave this population at high risk for instability, physical and mental health challenges, and impaired wellbeing. However, despite these difficulties, research strongly suggests that positive functioning can remain in families experiencing homelessness and that many go on to leave shelters and maintain stability, particularly when mothers have effective strategies to manage stress in contexts of adversity. In addition to identifying the needs of mothers experiencing homelessness, the literature also has highlighted factors of individual and relational resilience that promote wellbeing in this population. Existing literature also suggests notable long-term benefit from supporting mothers through culturally-responsive group interventions that build and enhance relationships, awareness, and adaptive stress management strategies. Despite emphasis in the literature on the promotion of individual and relational resilience, there are no current interventions with this population that directly foster these characteristics. Therefore, the purpose of this research project was to develop a relational resilience-oriented stress management group intervention for mothers experiencing homelessness to help build and strengthen their personal and relational resilience. To inform the development and content of the intervention and manual, a literature review was conducted, with an emphasis on interventions for this population. Four individuals with experience working with mothers experiencing homelessness evaluated the group intervention manual. The strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement identified by the evaluators are presented. Recommendations that integrate evaluators' feedback and directions for further development of the group intervention are also provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Homeless mothers -- Psychology; Resilience (Personality trait); Stress management for women

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Shelly Harrell

Included in

Psychology Commons