Emotional States Associated with Being in the Community and Being with Others Among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses.

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The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

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Individuals with serious mental illnesses generally spend extensive amounts of time at home and alone. The aim of the current study was to examine differences in emotional states between being at home and being in the community, and between being alone and being with others. Ecological momentary assessment was utilized 3 times per day over 14 days with 91 individuals with serious mental illnesses to assess where they were, who they were with, and momentary feeling of depressed mood, loneliness, and happiness. A total of 2,257 data points were analyzed with hierarchical linear modeling. Participants were at home 70.6% of the time and alone 58.6% of the time. After controlling for diagnosis and symptoms, being in the community was associated with lower depressed mood, lower loneliness, and greater happiness, and being with others was associated with lower loneliness and greater happiness. There was no significant interaction effect between being at home and being alone on any emotional states. Being in the community and being with others contributed to more favorable emotional states among individuals with serious mental illnesses. These findings support the need to promote opportunities for community participation and interactions with others outside of one's home. Policies, programs, and clinical practices should align with the goal of supporting people with serious mental illnesses to actively engage in community living to facilitate their emotional well-being. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


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