Three major biological factors related to becoming or being homeless are stress, achievement motivation, and mental illness. According to Mark Krause and Daniel Sorts (2012), stress is “a psychological and physiological reaction that occurs when perceived demands exceed existing resources to meet those demands,” (p. 597). Stress physically prepares the body to take on a fight or flight’ response to these high demands, and constantly choosing the flight’ response may be a characteristic off person who has ended up homeless.
On its own, stress has he ability to greatly hurt a person’s ability to perform well, but it is how one copes with stress that may lead to him or her living on the streets. We have probably all experimented with both positive and negative coping mechanisms when faced with a stressful situation. Positive responses to stress would include optimism, resilience, post-traumatic growth, biofeedback, and meditation (Krause & Sorts, 2012, p. 608).
Negative coping techniques, when used routinely, can be the downfall of a person. Negative affectively plays a big role in this, and refers to “the tendency to respond to robbers with a pattern of anxiety, hostility, anger, guilt, or nervousness,” (Krause & Sorts, 2012, p. 610). These responses can overpower a person’s life and leave them hopeless to accomplish anything, as well as lead them to physical issues, and therefore are a large part of what may leave a person living on the streets.
The tendency to choose negative or positive responses is partially ingrained in a person’s biological makeup, however, and it is not necessary in their power to choose one or the other. Less Parrot disturbances in brain chemistry are a large factor in anxiety 1993, p. 68). Those who are prone to react poorly to stressful situations are the people who will let those situations drive them to accomplish nothing, lose everything, and end up with no place to go. Issues with motivation may be another cause of homelessness.
Sorts and Krause (2012) define achievement motivation as “the drive to perform at high levels and to accomplish significant goals,” (p. 422). Many factors may lead to a lack of this motivation, making homelessness more likely. Furthermore, there are different types of motivation, and one way to contrast these datives is to compare the goals individuals may have in mind. Approach goals consist of an “enjoyable and pleasant incentive” one may be reaching for, while avoidance goals consist of trying to avoid “unpleasant outcomes,” (Sorts & Krause, 2012, p. 22). Issues with parents growing up are one example of what may lead too lack of motivation and a large amount of avoidance goals. If they were raised being constantly discouraged by their parents or guardians, it may become ingrained in their minds that they will never be enough. If they believe that they will truly never e able to accomplish anything worthwhile, they may stop trying in order to avoid failure. Less Parrot suggests that depression may be another leading cause too lack of motivation.
One of the major effects of depression is a lack of involvement in anything that once greatly interested the person, and evolves into a lack of motivation to do anything (Parrot, 1993, p. 87). These problems with motivation not only contribute to the reasons homeless people end up on the street, but also why they stay there. According to a survey taken by the U. S. Conference of Mayors, mental illness is the third largest cause of homelessness for single adults (2009, Para. 1).
If a person has a serious enough mental illness, many essential aspects of daily life become impossible to carry out. They may be unable to take care of themselves at all, let alone manage a house or a Job. Besides being unable to take care of themselves, they may not let others take care of them. A mental illness can hinder “forming or maintaining stable relationships,” (2009, Para. 3). A person with such an illness will push away caregivers, friends and families that could be the only thing peeping them from being left on the streets.
Someone who is mentally ill has lost their grip on reality, and therefore has a difficult time living in the real world. As a result of this, they would be unable to maintain a career or a normal family life. These factors, along with the general stress of living with a mental disorder, are the reasons many more mentally ill people are found living on the streets than those who are mentally stable. Stress, achievement motivation, and mental illness as shown throughout this essay have had profound impact on many people.