Psychological community integration among people with psychiatric disabilities and nondisabled community members

This study examined individual and neighborhood predictors of the psychological community integration of people with psychiatric disabilities and nondisabled community members. One hundred twenty-three adults (60 psychiatrically disabled, 63 general community residents), completed measures of sense of community, life satisfaction, psychiatric symptoms, and perceptions of neighborhood. Mental health consumers living in independent scatter-site apartments did not differ from other community members in either sense of community or life satisfaction. Among mental health consumers, neither symptoms nor demographic variables predicted sense of community, whereas objective neighborhood characteristics did. Conversely, among community members, age and symptoms predicted sense of community while objective neighborhood characteristics did not; perceived neighborhood characteristics predicted sense of community in both samples. Findings suggest that consumers living in independent housing may achieve levels of psychological community integration comparable to other community members, and that neighborhood factors impact degree of community integration in this population. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Journal of Community Psychology