Development of a measure of sense of community for individuals with serious mental illness residing in community settings

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Abstract

The psychological sense of community is one of the most commonly investigated constructs in community psychology. Sense of community may be particularly important for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) because they often face societal barriers to participation in community living, including stigma and discrimination. To date, no published studies have investigated the psychometric qualities of sense of community measures among individuals with SMI. The current study tested a series of confirmatory factor analyses using the Brief Sense of Community Index (Long & Perkins, 2003) in a sample of 416 persons with SMI living in community settings to suggest a model of sense of community for individuals with SMI and other disabilities. The resulting scale, the Brief Sense of Community Index-Disability, demonstrated good model fit and construct validity. Implications are discussed for how this scale may be used in research investigating community integration and adaptive functioning in community settings. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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