Assessing the social networks of people with psychiatric disability from multiple perspectives

Catherine H. Stein, Julian Rappaport, Edward Seidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The study uses a sample of 97 new members of a mutual-help organization for the seriously mentally ill and 97 of their significant others (61 family members and 36 friends) to examine 1) the degree to which respondents' perceptions of dyadic relationships can be corroborated by network members and 2) the relationship of congruence of perception between respondent-network member pairs, characteristics of respondents' social networks and self-reported symptoms and social adjustment. Results showed strong variability in the degree to which respondents' perceptions were corroborated by network members, with a higher degree of corroboration for factual information such as face-to-face contact than for global aspects of dyadic relationships. Congruence of perception between respondents and family was associated with respondents' feelings of satisfaction about the quality of network ties and better psychological and social functioning. In contrast, congruence of perception between respondents and friends was related to a sense of involvement from ones network, but unrelated to respondents' mental health. The advantages of multiple perspectives data in studying the social ties of people with psychiatric disability are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-367
Number of pages17
JournalCommunity mental health journal
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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