Social Networks, Community Integration and Recovery for Individuals with Severe Mental Illnesses in India and the U.S: A Comparative Study

Abstract

Community integration is central to recovery for individuals with severe mental illnesses (SMIs). However, cross-national research on community experiences of persons with SMIs is limited. Utilizing quantitative and social network data from a sample of individuals with SMIs, the current study (1) examined the social networks and experiences of community integration in India (n = 56) and (2) compared India and U.S. (n = 30) participants on social network characteristics, community integration, and psychosocial functioning. Results showed significant differences in demographic and psychosocial functioning between the samples. Regarding community integration, U.S. participants were more integrated into the mental health community than Indian participants. Differences in social networks revealed that Indian participants had significantly more family members and colleagues while U.S. participants had significantly more friends. Results suggest that caution be taken in generalizing mental health research cross-nationally and highlight the importance of sociocultural contexts of recovery and community integration of individuals with SMIs.

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Pahwa, R., Smith, M.E., Patankar, K.U. et al. Social Networks, Community Integration and Recovery for Individuals with Severe Mental Illnesses in India and the U.S: A Comparative Study. Community Ment Health J 56, 1004–1013 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-019-00546-x

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Keywords

  • Serious mental illness
  • Community integration
  • Social networks
  • Recovery
  • India
  • United States