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Combining self-determination theory and photo-elicitation to understand the experiences of homeless women

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 16:41 authored by Phipps, M, Lisa DaltonLisa Dalton, Hazel MaxwellHazel Maxwell, Cleary, M
Homelessness is a complex and gendered experience. To understand this complexity, novel theoretical frameworks and appropriate research methods are required. Most women living without homes have experienced some form of abuse or mental health issues before becoming, being or exiting homelessness and there is high prevalence of trauma in this vulnerable population. Researchers investigating women's homelessness need to ensure the research process is not retraumatising. This paper proposes a theoretical framework that combines self-determination theory (SDT) and photo-elicitation to support and guide research conducted with women who are at risk of negative effects of power imbalances and retraumatisation in research. The framework offers new opportunities to sensitively study women's homelessness by leveraging a strengths-based premise and empowering procedures to increase women's control in the research process. Embedding this method within the SDT research framework repositions women from objects of research to being competent, autonomous, active and empowered agents in the research process.


Publication title

Issues in Mental Health Nursing








School of Health Sciences


Taylor & Francis Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health services

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