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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 570407, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/570407
Research Article

Homeless Aging Veterans in Transition: A Life-Span Perspective

1University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514, USA
2Research and Advanced Studies, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Building 78, Office 121, Pensacola, FL 32514, USA

Received 30 June 2013; Revised 19 September 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editor: Astrid E. Fletcher

Copyright © 2013 Carla J. Thompson and Nancy L. Bridier. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The need for counseling and career/educational services for homeless veterans has captured political and economic venues for more than 25 years. Veterans are three times more likely to become homeless than the general population if veterans live in poverty or are minority veterans. This mixed methods study emphasized a life-span perspective approach for exploring factors influencing normative aging and life-quality of 39 homeless veterans in Alabama and Florida. Seven descriptive quantitative and qualitative research questions framed the investigation. Study participants completed a quantitative survey reflecting their preferences and needs with a subset of the sample ( ) also participating in individual qualitative interview sessions. Thirty-two service providers and stakeholders completed quantitative surveys. Empirical and qualitative data with appropriate triangulation procedures provided interpretive information relative to a life-span development perspective. Study findings provide evidence of the need for future research efforts to address strategies that focus on the health and economic challenges of veterans before they are threatened with the possibility of homelessness. Implications of the study findings provide important information associated with the premise that human development occurs throughout life with specific characteristics influencing the individual’s passage. Implications for aging/homelessness research are grounded in late-life transitioning and human development intervention considerations.