Stacy L. Pike


Homelessness continues as a grim reality that has devastating effects upon individuals and families from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Alcohol abuse is one of the most common problems reported by homeless individuals in the U.S. Additionally, research has consistently demonstrated a significant relationship between homelessness and mental disorders such as depression. Given the rates of alcohol abuse among homeless persons, it is important that clinicians providing mental health services to the homeless have reliable, valid methods for assessing substance abuse. The main focus of this archival study was to examine the usefulness of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) among treatment seeking homeless men residing in a faith-based, homeless shelter in Los Angeles. This study also sought to determine the relationship between the AUDIT and the Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II), a widely used measure of depressive symptoms. The present sample included 86 adult males with a mean age of 43 years. The sample was ethnically diverse, tended to be single, and most participants had at least a high school education. All of the participants were enrolled in a yearlong residential substance abuse recovery program. They all had voluntarily sought individual psychological services from a university-affiliated mental health clinic located within the same shelter that provided the recovery program. In addition to the AUDIT and BDI-II, instruments included the Drug Abuse Screening Test-20 (DAST-20) and an intake application form used at the clinic. The sample obtained a mean AUDIT score of 14.73; internal consistency reliability was .93. The BDI-II and DAST-20 had mean scores of 21.94 and 10.07, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences across ethnic groups in mean AUDIT, BDI-II, or DAST-20 scores. As predicted, significant positive associations were found between the AUDIT and the intake form-based measures of substance abuse problems. There was also a significant positive relationship found between the AUDIT and the BDI-II. Other findings, clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are also explored. The results strongly supported the reliability and validity of the AUDIT as a measure of problematic alcohol use among treatment-seeking homeless men.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Homeless men -- Alcohol use; Homeless men -- Mental health

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Mitchell, Cary;