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Development and validation of the housing instability scale

NCJ Number
Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless Dated: 2022
Date Published

This article addresses a gap in research regarding the factors that impact housing instability and homelessness; it describes the research methodology and outcomes, including the development of a succinct and psychometrically sound scale to measure housing instability trends among English and Spanish speakers.


Despite increasing attention to the importance of examining factors that impact housing instability and homelessness, the field lacks a validated scale of housing instability. The current study examined the reliability and validity of a seven-item scale that measures housing instability.   Data were taken from a larger study which implemented the Domestic Violence Housing First model across five domestic violence agencies in the Pacific Northwest. A total of 406 participants were interviewed every six months over a period of two years. A Spanish version of the scale was administered to Spanish-speaking participants. Results provide an overview of the psychometric functioning of the scale and support its utility in assessing housing instability and homelessness. Specifically, the scale demonstrated concurrent and predictive validity, and showed evidence of scalar equivalence over time and across both language and locality. The current scale is therefore a succinct and psychometrically sound measure of housing instability which can be used moving forward to track housing instability in English and Spanish speakers, as well as in urban and rural settings. (Published Abstracts Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022