Carol Caton

Carol Caton

Carol Caton

Sociomedical Sciences (in Psychiatry) at the Columbia University Medical Center


722 West 168th Street
New York NY 10032


Dr. Carol Caton is currently principal investigator of three NIDA-funded longitudinal prospective studies; one is concerning the course of homelessness among the single adult homeless, the second is focused on the onset and course of psychosis and substance use comorbidity, and the third is an exploratory effort to develop a peer support intervention for patients with psychosis and substance use comorbidity who are poorly connected to mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Dr. Caton and her collaborators have published extensively on outcome of schizophrenia, homelessness, and severe mental illness and substance use comorbidity. In concert with a multidisciplinary team of scholars from various departments and schools within Columbia University, Dr. Caton led a National Institute of Mental Health application to develop an intervention and services research center focused on prevention of chronic homelessness, which will offer research fellows in psychiatry and graduate students the opportunity to actively participate in the center's scientific dialogue with scientists, providers, consumers, and policy makers throughout the New York City region. Moreover, the center will facilitate ties with training programs in public health and public psychiatry, offering students an opportunity to collaborate on the design and implementation of interventions focused on people with severe mental illness who are at risk of chronic homelessness. Dr. Caton is professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences (Psychiatry), College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and research scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute.



PhD, 1969, Yale University
M Phil, 1967, Yale University

Other Affiliations

American Public Health Association
American Psychopathplogical Association
New York Academy of Sciences
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Areas of Expertise

Longitudinal Studies, Outcomes Research, Adolescent Health, Homelessness, Minority Health, Underserved Populations, Mental Health, Addiction/Drug Abuse

Select Urban Health Activities

Service Needs in Early Psychosis and Drug Use: "Service Needs in Early Psychosis and Drug Use" is a NIDA-funded longitudinal study of 400 young men and women admitted to psychiatric emergency departments in upper Manhattan for a psychotic episode of recent onset that co-occurred with the use of drugs and/or alcohol. The study is designed to gain a greater understanding of the onset, course, and outcome of psychosis and substance use comorbidity, a condition that has grown more common with the widespread availability of substances of abuse in New York City and across the nation. A greater understanding of these illnesses will pave the way for prevention and early intervention programs.
A Peer Support Intervention for Psychosis and Drug Use: "A Peer Support Intervention for Psychosis and Drug Use" is a NIDA-funded intervention development project designed to improve the involvement of young men and women with psychosis and substance use comorbidity in needed treatment and support services. An outgrowth of the "Service Needs..." longitudinal study cited above, the Peer Support Project employs peer specialists (consumers of mental health services) who work in concert with crisis outreach teams to engage non-compliant patients in mental health and substance abuse treatment. Peer specialists assist with obtaining housing, entitlements, and other support services. This project will eventually lead to a controlled trial of the peer support program to establish it as an evidence-based intervention for this constituency.
Drug Use and Course of Homelessness among Single Adults: This 18-month follow-up study of 443 newly homeless single adult men and women in New York City investigates the role of drug use and other factors in determining how long people remain homeless. A better understanding of the characteristics of people who become chronically homeless will lead to the development of interventions that would prevent prolonged stays in homeless shelters and would facilitate an early return to community housing.

Select Publications

Caton CLM, Drake RE, Hasin DS, Dominguez B, Shrout PE, Samet S, Schanzer B, Differences between early phase primary psychotic disorders with concurrent substance use and substance-induced psychoses Archives of General Psychiatry 62 137-145 2005
Caton, CLM, Dominguez B, Schanzer B, Hasin DS, Shrout PR, Felix A, McQuistion H, Opler LA, Hsu E Risk factors for long-term homelessness: Findings from a longitudinal study of first-time homeless single adults American Journal of Public Health in press 2005
Caton CLM, Hasin DS, First MB, Drake RE, Shrout PE The Stability of Early Phase Psychotic Disorders with Substance Use Bristol, England International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiolo 2004
Caton CLM,Drake RE, Hasin DS, First MB, Shrout PE, Dominguez B Outcome of substance-induced psychosis and primary psychotic disorder Bristol, England International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiolo 2004
Caton CLM, Hasin DS, Shrout PE, Opler LA, Hirshfield, S, Dominguez B, Felix A Risk factors for homelessness among indigent urban adults with no history of psychotic illness American Journal of Public Health 90 258-263 2000
Caton CLM, Cournos F, Dominguez B Parenting and Adjustment in Schizophrenia Psychiatric Services 50 239-243 1999
Caton CLM Mental health service use among homeless and never homeless men with schizophrenia Psychiatric Services 46 1139-1143 1995
Caton CLM, Shrout PE, Eagle P, Opler LA, Felix A, Dominguez B, Correlates of codisorders in homeless and never homeless indigent schizophrenic men Psychological Medicine 24 681-688 1994
Caton CLM Homeless in America Oxford University Press New York, N.Y. 1990
Caton CLM The Management of Chronic Schizophrenia Oxford University Press New York, N.Y. 1984

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