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Distal Support in Individuals Diagnosed with Schizophrenia

Wieland, Melissa Elaine (2004) Distal Support in Individuals Diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Community integration for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia is essential to successful community tenure. Most of the research and clinical emphasis on the process of integration has been focused on the successes in normative goals (e.g. employment, support networks). Little research has focused on how individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia integrate in the realm of public life involving the casual routine interactions with other community members, termed distal support in this study. This was a cross-sectional study specifically designed to develop a measure of distal support and to identify clinical and sociodemographic factors associated with fostering distal supports. Findings suggest that personality factors, particularly extraversion and openness, play a role in the process of fostering community distal supports while a higher functional status and lower symptom severity were found to have moderate associations. It was also found that a greater number of distal supports were associated with higher quality of life satisfaction ratings and sense of belonging scores. Contrary to the stated hypothesis, a greater number of distal supports were associated with a higher number of mental health contacts. This may be due, in part, to the confounding effects of the personality factors of extraversion and openness; both associated with a higher number of distal supports and with a greater willingness to seek support and to accept treatment during times of need. A greater understanding of what factors lead to successful community integration in this population has significant public health implications both in terms of improved quality of life and treatment interventions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wieland, Melissa
Date: 16 December 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 December 2004
Approval Date: 16 December 2004
Submission Date: 9 December 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: casual support; weak ties
Other ID:, etd-12092004-095934
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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