Relationship of mental health and illness in substance abuse patients

Department of Psychiatry University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Personality and Individual Differences (Impact Factor: 1.95). 12/2010; 49(8):880-884. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.07.022


This study examined the latent structure of a number of measures of mental health (MH) and mental illness (MI) in substance use disorder outpatients to determine whether they represent two independent dimensions, as Keyes (2005) found in a community sample. Seven aspects of MI assessed were assessed – optimism, personal meaning, spirituality/religiosity, social support, positive mood, hope, and vitality. MI was assessed with two measures of negative psychological moods/states, a measure of antisociality, and the Addiction Severity Index’s recent psychiatric and family–social problem scores. Correlational and exploratory factor analyses revealed that MH and MI appear to reflect two independent, but correlated, constructs. However, optimism and social support had relatively high loadings on both factors. Antisociality and the family–social problem score failed to load significantly on the MI factor. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the existence of two obliquely related, negatively correlated dimensions. Study findings, although generally supporting the independence of MH and MI, suggest that the specific answers to this question may be influenced by the constructs and assessments used to measure them.

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