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Homelessness and mental health in Ghana: everyday experiences of Accra’s migrant squatters

de-Graft Aikins, Ama and Ofori-Atta, Angela L. (2007) Homelessness and mental health in Ghana: everyday experiences of Accra’s migrant squatters. Journal of Health Psychology, 12 (5). pp. 761-778. ISSN 1359-1053

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1359105307080609


This article discusses everyday experiences of transient homelessness in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Episodic interviews with individuals living in squatter settlements in the wealthy East Legon suburb explored: (1) roots of homelessness; (2) everyday experiences and coping strategies; (3) relationship between experiences and (mental) health; (4) needs and interventions. Three intersecting forms of insecurity framed participants’ everyday experience: financial, legal and psychosocial. Physical and psychological stresses were common; physical illnesses rare. Coping strategies facilitated adaptation but not transformation of everyday circumstances. We explore possibilities for intervention and discuss relevance of this study to the health psychology and African literatures on homelessness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Sage Publications
Divisions: LSE Health
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I10 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2013 14:28
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:48

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