CORRELATES OF QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG COMMUNITY RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER CLIENTS.
AuthorSCOTT, REDA RUTH.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe present research examined the ability of a group of objective and subjective social indicators to discriminate between respondents who were community mental health center clients and those who were community residents with no history of contact with mental health professionals. Previous research had suggested that objective social indicators were inadequate both for assessing well-being and for assessing mental health needs. Thus, the purpose of this project was to provide initial data on the relative efficacy of objective and subjective social indicators in discriminating those who needed mental health services from those who did not. In addition, the goal was to determine the ability of a combined group subjective and objective indicators to discriminate between those who needed mental health services and those who did not. Teams of trained undergraduates administered questionnaires containing questions regarding demographic variables, recent stressful life events, social supports, daily activities, and quality of life (domain satisfaction). Community mental health center clients appearing for the first time in East Tucson, Arizona were designated as those in need of mental health services (clinic). East Tucson community residents reporting no history of contact with mental health professionals were designated as those who were not in need of mental health services (community). Results indicate that discriminant function analysis using only demographic variables was able to correctly classify 85.7 percent of these respondents as belonging to either the community or clinic group. Using quality of life variables, 85.2 percent of these respondents were correctly classified. By combining one demographic variable, one recent stressful life event, and three quality of life items, a discriminant function analysis correctly classified 93.1 percent of these respondents as either clinic or community. Results of discriminant function analyses with a cross-validation sample support these results. The overall results are viewed as preliminary but suggestive of the potential utility of combining objective and subjective indicators for predicting mental health needs. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for preventive approaches to mental health in light of the limitations of defining need on the basis of utilization of services.