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Table 3 Comparisons of socio-demographic, mental disorders and drug-use related characteristics by history of foster care among Vancouver At Home participants (n = 442)

From: History of foster care among homeless adults with mental illness in Vancouver, British Columbia: a precursor to trajectories of risk

Variable Foster care - no Foster care - yes P value
Need level    
High 186 (70) 81 (30) 0.908
Moderate 121 (69) 54 (31)
Study arm    
Housing first (HF) 190 (69) 84 (31) 0.947
Treatment as usual (TAU) 117 (70) 51 (30)
Gender    
Male 231 (73) 86 (27) 0.011*
Female 73 (60) 48 (40)
Age at randomization    
19-24 years 18 (62) 11 (38) 0.007**
25-44 years 164 (65) 90 (35)
>44 years 125 (79) 34 (21)
Ethnicity    <0.001***
Aboriginal 26 (38) 42 (62)
White 188 (75) 62 (25)
Other 93 (75) 31 (25)
Educational attainment    <0.001***
Completed high school 152 (80) 38 (20)
Incomplete high school 153 (61) 96 (39)
Marital status    0.880
Single (never married) 213 (70) 92 (30)
Other 94 (69) 42 (31)
Have children (under age 18)    0.001***
No 237 (73) 87 (27)
Yes 62 (57) 47 (43)
Worked continuously at least one year in the past    <0.001***
No 89 (58) 65 (42)
Yes 215 (75) 70 (25)
Unemployed    0.346
No 26 (77) 8 (23)
Yes 279 (69) 127 (31)
Jail (past 6 months)    0.085+
No 273 (71) 112 (29)
Yes 34 (60) 23 (40)
Housing status    0.357
Precariously housed 63 (66) 33 (34)
Absolutely homeless 244 (71) 102 (29)
Duration of homelessness - lifetime    0.012*
>36 months6 168 (75) 57 (25)
≤36 months 134 (64) 77 (36)
Duration homeless - longest single episode    0.001***
>12 months7 164 (77) 50 (23)
≤12 months 138 (62) 84 (38)
Age of first homelessness    <0.001***
≥25 years 192 (79) 52 (21)
<25 years 111 (58) 81 (42)
Overall health    0.944
Fair/good/excellent 265 (70) 116 (30)
Poor 42 (70) 18 (30)
Less severe mental illness    0.001***
No 160 (77) 47 (23)
Yes 147 (63) 88 (37)
Severe mental illness    0.879
No 82 (69) 37 (31)
Yes 225 (70) 98 (30)
Multiple (≥2) mental disorders    <0.001***
No 176 (77) 53 (23)
Yes 131 (62) 82 (38)
Alcohol dependence    0.954
No 235 (70) 103 (30)
Yes 72 (69) 32 (31)
Substance dependence    0.011*
No 140 (76) 44 (24)
Yes 167 (65) 91 (35)
Suicide risk    0.034*
High 260 (72) 103 (28)
No/low/moderate 47 (60) 32 (40)
Blood-borne infectious diseases    0.730
No 207 (70) 89 (30)
Yes 97 (68) 45 (32)
Multiple (≥3) physical illness    0.415
No 96 (72) 37 (28)
Yes 211 (68) 98 (32)
Initiation of alcohol    <0.001***
Before 14 years 173 (78) 48 (22)
14 years or after 115 (58) 83 (42)
Initiation of drugs    <0.001***
Before 14 years 179 (76) 57 (24)
14 years or after 93 (56) 74 (44)
Frequency of substance use    0.005**
Less than daily/none 231 (73) 84 (27)
Daily 76 (60) 51 (40)
Frequency of drug use    0.003**
Less than daily/none 241 (73) 88 (27)
Daily 66 (58) 47 (42)
Injection drug use    0.003**
No 257 (73) 95 (27)
Yes 47 (57) 36 (43)
Poly-substance use    0.012**
Two or less 157 (76) 51 (24)
Three or more 149 (65) 82 (35)
Poly-drug use    0.007**
Two or less 198 (74) 68 (26)
Three or more 108 (62) 65 (38)
Frequency of alcohol use    0.348
Less than daily/none 291 (70) 124 (30)
Daily 14 (61) 9 (39)
Frequency of cannabis use    0.057+
Less than daily/none 271 (71) 110 (29)
Daily 36 (59) 25 (41)
  1. *p ≤ 0.05.
  2. **p ≤ 0.01.
  3. ***p ≤ 0.001.
  4. +p > 0.05 & p ≤ 0.10.
  5. 6Dichotomized based on median value (3 years).
  6. 7Dichotomized based on median value (1 year).