Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Philip T. Yanos

Committee Members

Preeti Chauhan

Kevin Nadal

Mark Salzer

Tim Aubry

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Community Psychology | Social Psychology

Keywords

Community participation, neighborhood, stigma, disadvantage, housing, mental illness

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between individual and neighborhood characteristics, stigmatizing experiences, and measures of community integration among individuals with mental illness. Surveys were administered to two samples: 608 community member participants and 343 participants with mental health diagnoses. Participants in both samples were recruited from 3 community sites in the New York City metropolitan area: East/Central Harlem in Manhattan, Crown Heights/East Flatbush in Brooklyn, and Yonkers and Mt. Vernon in Southern Westchester. Negative symptoms and perceived level of community microaggressions were strong predictors of community integration for participants with mental illness. Prior contact with mental illness predicted less stigmatizing attitudes, and suburban values predicted more perpetrated microaggression behavior reported by community members. Contrary to hypotheses, no significant relationship was found between community member-reported and psychiatric sample-perceived stigma. Findings suggest that the community participation of individuals with severe mental illness is multifaceted and is best evaluated as a combination of both individual and neighborhood characteristics.

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