Maslow and Mental Health Recovery: A Comparative Study of Homeless Programs for Adults with Serious Mental Illness

Benjamin F. Henwood, Katie Sue Derejko, Julie Couture, Deborah K. Padgett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This mixed-methods study uses Maslow’s hierarchy as a theoretical lens to investigate the experiences of 63 newly enrolled clients of housing first and traditional programs for adults with serious mental illness who have experienced homelessness. Quantitative findings suggests that identifying self-actualization goals is associated with not having one’s basic needs met rather than from the fulfillment of basic needs. Qualitative findings suggest a more complex relationship between basic needs, goal setting, and the meaning of self-actualization. Transforming mental health care into a recovery-oriented system will require further consideration of person-centered care planning as well as the impact of limited resources especially for those living in poverty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Homelessness
  • Housing first
  • Maslow
  • Mental health recovery
  • Serious mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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