Psychology, Department of


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor William Spaulding. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2011

Copyright 2011 L. Felice Reddy


Psychosocial rehabilitation for persons with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) encompasses recovery of functioning in a broad array of domains, including neurocognitive, social cognitive, interpersonal, occupational, and self-care abilities. There is extensive evidence that improvements in these domains are possible as a result of targeted interventions, and that these improvements may generalize to other areas of daily functioning. The current study explored rehabilitative change over time among adults with SMI that were attending outpatient day centers. Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT), a cognitive-behavioral skills-training modality, was implemented during the time period in which the data was collected. Forty adults participated in the study which included three assessment sessions over a three-month period. Participants were assessed in the areas of clinical symptoms, neurocognition, social cognition, and social functioning. The sample size prohibits drawing firm conclusions from the data but the results suggest that in general, improvements were made in several areas of social cognition and social functioning and that neurocognition and clinical symptoms may mediate these effects. The SCIT treatment was not consistently related to improvements in social cognition. Interestingly, involvement in the study itself predicted decreased self-rated social functioning; a similar decrease in social functioning was not detected on the staff-administered social functioning measure. Principle components analyses were conducted to derive three primary factors from the array of assessment batteries. The results converge in suggesting self-report measures and clinician-administered measures are separable and meaningfully different. Implications for future longitudinal multivariate studies of rehabilitative change are discussed.