This research was funded by an interdisciplinary research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH-62628) to the first author. An employment intervention demonstration grant (SM-51831) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration funded the first five years of data collection. Supplemental support was provided by the van Ameringen Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and University of Massachusetts Medical School. No author, affiliated institution, or funding organization has a conflict of interest. The authors thank their NIMH project monitor, Ann Hohmann, for her encouragement and guidance.
Transforming Dissatisfaction With Services Into Self-Determination: A Social Psychological Perspective on Community Program Effectiveness1
Version of Record online: 28 JUL 2009
© 2009 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 39, Issue 8, pages 1835–1859, August 2009
How to Cite
Macias, C., Aronson, E., Hargreaves, W., Weary, G., Barreira, P. J., Harvey, J., Rodican, C. F., Bickman, L. and Fisher, W. (2009), Transforming Dissatisfaction With Services Into Self-Determination: A Social Psychological Perspective on Community Program Effectiveness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39: 1835–1859. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2009.00506.x
- Issue online: 28 JUL 2009
- Version of Record online: 28 JUL 2009
A field study of supported employment for adults with mental illness provided an experimental test of cognitive dissonance theory. We predicted that most work-interested individuals randomly assigned to a non-preferred program would reject services and lower their work aspirations. However, individuals who chose to pursue employment through a non-preferred program were expected to resolve this dissonance through favorable service evaluations and strong efforts to succeed at work. Significant Work Interest × Service Preference interactions supported these predictions. Over 2 years, participants interested in employment who obtained work through a non-preferred program stayed employed a median of 362 days vs. 108 days for those assigned to a preferred program; participants who obtained work through a non-preferred program also had higher service satisfaction.