College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-20-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Molly Brown, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Goran Kuljanin, Ph.D.


The homeless service sector has moved toward the implementation of assessment tools to better understand the support service needs of individuals and families. While a variety of assessment tools are available, their psychometric evidence base is limited. The Self-Sufficiency Matrix (SSM) is one assessment that holds promise with regard to its reliability, validity, and potential use as an instrument for triaging services. However, research examining the factor structure of the SSM has been inconsistent across samples. Moreover, it has never been tested among a broad population of both those currently experiencing and at-risk of experiencing homelessness, or examined unaccompanied adults and families with minor children independently. The current study sought to explore the factor structure of the SSM using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis among a sample of unaccompanied individuals (N = 427) and families (N = 428) experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness. Data were derived from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) from a Midwestern metropolitan area and included all individuals and families who participated in the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Results suggest the SSM is multidimensional and the relation between its items and latent constructs differs across individual and family subgroups. Further, study findings indicate the SSM holds promise with regard to its invariance across racial and gender groups. Results suggest further development and testing of the SSM is necessary to better serve individuals experiencing homelessness.

SLP Collection