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J Behav Health Serv Res. 2003 Jul-Sep;30(3):269-89.

Variability in community functioning of mothers with serious mental illness.

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Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


In the post-deinstitutionalization era, everyday community functioning is an important aspect of assessment and treatment of individuals with serious mental illness. The current study focuses on correlates of community functioning among 332 low-income mothers with serious mental illness. Results revealed significant relationships between everyday functioning and a number of demographic, psychiatric, contextual, and mental health treatment variables. Current psychiatric symptoms accounted for the greatest amount of variance and completely mediated the effects of diagnosis and substance abuse history on community functioning; yet contextual variables such as financial worries and social support were also significant predictors, even after controlling for symptoms and other clinical characteristics. Additionally, use of mental health services was a significant moderator of the effect of social stress on community functioning. Implications of results for future research and practice are discussed.

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