Social Support and Recovery in People with Serious Mental Illnesses

University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 7230 Arbor Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477, USA.
Community Mental Health Journal (Impact Factor: 1.03). 01/2005; 40(6):513-23. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-004-6125-5
Source: PubMed


This study examines the relationship between objective and subjective measures of social support with recovery from serious mental illness; recovery has been described as both an outcome state and an ongoing process. One hundred and seventy six people with serious mental illness completed the Recovery Assessment Scale, a process measure of recovery that assessed, among other factors, personal confidence, goal orientation, and non-domination by symptoms. They also were administered the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, a semi-structured interview that assesses psychiatric symptom and represents recovery as an outcome. Finally, research participants completed the Social Network Scale, which assessed size of the overall network plus such important subnetworks as family, friends, and health professionals. The SNS also provided measures of the perceived satisfaction with, mutuality in, and obligation towards individuals in their support network. Results showed people with larger overall network size and more network satisfaction were likely to report higher factors on the Recovery Assessment Scale. For the most part, network size and satisfaction was not significantly associated with psychiatric symptoms. Implications of these findings for better understanding the association between social support and recovery are discussed.

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    • "– Positive relations with others represent the capacity to develop and maintain warm, affectionate, and trusting human relationships – a criterion of maturity. Individuals who are able to feel affection for others, who are empathetic and capable of maintaining durable friendships attain their human potential much easier and recover at a faster pace (Corrigan & Phelan, 2004). – Autonomy is the individual's ability to function free from the influence and control of others, to regulate emotions and behavior from within. "
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    • "Mental health court participants and key informants described social network members and the social environment as key factors in recovery and keeping out of trouble with the law such that forging relationships with network members with similar recovery goals and pro-social behaviors is necessary. Previous research suggests that individuals reporting more satisfaction with their networks were more likely to report hope for recovery and goals oriented around recovery efforts (Corrigan & Phelan, 2004) making the social networks of MHC participants a particularly promising point for intervention. "
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