Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Natalie Pope


Homelessness is a social problem that has plagued the United States for decades. as early as 1987, veterans were identified has making up a large proportion of people living unhoused. This dissertation is a retrospective exploratory, quantitative study exploring the relationship between criminal thinking and specific characteristics (mental health symptoms, social connectedness, perception of seriousness of legal issues, and housing) of veterans who received services from a Housing First program. Using Survival Mode Theory as a framework for organizing and understanding the context of the study, and the utility of the findings, this dissertation aimed at improving practice and theoretical understandings of criminal thinking domains in veterans who experience homelessness. Findings suggest a strong association between mental health symptoms (specifically cognitive impairment and controlling violent behaviors) and prior justice involvement and changes in criminal thinking domains. Findings from this study offer insight for practitioners who are working with veterans who may display cognitive patterns conducive to justice-involvement. Additionally, these findings may support an expansion of the HF model of practice to include programs and supports aimed at justice-involvement reform.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)