Published Papers - Abstract 104

Manderson L, Kelaher M, McLaughlin C & Sandberg M. Security and safe havens: health issues among women in mobile homes. Women and Health, 1998; 28(1): 83-96

This paper is based on a small study of women resident in caravan parks. The study, undertaken in the context of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, explored the health status and the health seeking behaviour of women living in mobile homes in two townships in north coast New South Wales, Australia. Older women had moved to park accommodation, some with husbands, to escape the financial strains of maintaining larger homes on fixed incomes. Younger women, in contrast, typically moved to the parks alone or with children but without an adult partner, and were motivated to move from more permanent housing as a result of financial hardship, domestic violence, and their own or partners’ drug and alcohol abuse. We had hypothesized some differences in women’s health status and health related behaviour according to place of residence, because of the differences in the two townships with respect to infrastructure and social characteristics. However, women’s health status varied primarily according to age. Women believed they were physically healthy, although with some dental, sexual and particularly mental health problems.