Members of a psychiatric psychosocial program designed to provide both supported employment and peer support were surveyed about their current social activities, sources of social support, and social life improvement since joining the program. Survey respondents who worked a mainstream job (n = 17) reported greater peer contact in community locations, and correspondingly greater social life improvement, than those who remained unemployed or worked volunteer jobs (n = 45). Results of a hierarchical regression analysis (N = 62) that explored this positive correlation between mainstream work, community-based peer contact, and social life satisfaction suggest that working a job in an integrated setting that paid at least minimum wage encouraged program participants to meet and interact in community locations, thereby strengthening peer mutual support while furthering social integration. This unique pattern of findings requires replication, and we recommend that other psychosocial programs conduct similar quality improvement studies to provide further insights into the relationship between peer support and community integration.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 3, 2010
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