Individual-level models of residential mobility emphasize (a) the stabilizing effects of various social, demographic, and housing characteristics and (b) the important mediating role played by decision-making variables. Data from a sample of skid row residents are analyzed to determine if these models retain their accuracy under conditions of disaffiliation and powerlessness. The findings indicate that, while older age, employment, and other characteristics may encourage residential stability on skid row, such factors influence mobility behavior in a direct fashion rather than through the intervening decision variables of residential evaluation and mobility expectation. In general, persons with weakened social attachments and little control over their lives and resources find it difficult to engage in the calculated, long-term type of decision-making process implied by mobility theory.
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