"A transitory dwelling (hotel, public residence) represents an institutional solution for the families having unstable and low incomes. Living in such conditions corresponds to a specific negative event in the life course and in the home-making process. Being at home is more than having a roof, housing is a fundamental process for the identity construction. It is impossible to study and to understand this experience without examining the relative meanings and concrete experiences of home. Presumably, the social identity and self-esteem are threatened by the precarious house situation. This paper explores, in a transitional perspective and as suggested by the model of identity social construction during life span, the influence of the social, spatial and temporal contexts on this negative life event (Baubion-Broye, 1998; Niens & Cairns, 2003). The study is focused on the dynamic of the home identity and especially on the differentiation of the home construction strategies (Twigger-Ross & Uzzell, 1996; Smith, 1994; Kellet & Moore, 2003).In order to investigate the strategies of identity maintenance we observed the investments of the transitory house and of its urban contexts. In respect of the temporal perspective, the previous environmental expressions of the home were considered. This research identifies the contextual supports (perceived environmental attributes) for the continuity, the coherence and the self-image under some societal constraints : precarious and uncertain societal and residential conditions.Data were obtained by semi-directed interview realised with women representing 80 households living in a transitory dwelling in Paris or its suburbs. The data contend analysis is focus on (1) the perceived personal control on societal insertion system, (2) the residential past (previous "meaningful" situations and mobility), (3) the spatial identity (achieved « chez-soi », their attributes and access), (4) the anticipated evolution of the societal position and residential situation (improvement, stability, regression), (5) the habitat comparison standard (expected attributes, representations of the transitory dwelling and of its occupants), (6) the environmental competence and exploration (house personalization, neighbourhood extension and familiarity). The multi-factorial analysis of the data pointed out the identification of the adaptive mechanisms mobilized by negative life events, living in a transitory dwelling.The results are explained by the social construction expectancies (optimism, pessimism, stability) and self-efficacy acquisition model (Magaletta & Oliver, 1999). The study showed that the different kinds of transitory dwelling (categorized according to the domestic facilities and the institutional salience) induce an identity dynamic process. The differentiation of this dynamic emerges from the individual residential course, the societal insertion expectations and the perceived personal control.Consistent with the theory of the relative deprivation and the referent cognitions model, the social comparison (differentiated according to the residential past) seems to be a self-image strategy protection in a precarious societal position (Gibbons, 1999 ; Niens & Cairns, 2003). It is suggested that social comparison, and more specifically the change of its terms appears as an identity strategy protection.The interventions should sustain the acquisition and the reinforcement of the self-efficacy (projects realization, legibility of the actions efficacy) in order to break the vicious circle of the hopelessness that is a source of apathy (resignation), stress and discomfort (Fischer, 1994 ; Farrington, & Robinson, 1999). It would be also necessary to consider a differentiation of the individual situation according to his/her access to institutional and/or personal supports as socio-emotional mediators. The implications for interventions are discussed in terms of health promotion considering that the actions are focused on the psychosocial processes specific for the life events and transitions and on the individual access to a self-expression sustaining environment."