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Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318166303c
Original Article

Professionals and Managers With Severe Mental Illnesses: Findings From a National Survey

Ellison, Marsha Langer PhD*; Russinova, Zlatka PhD†; Lyass, Asya PhD (Cand.)†; Rogers, E Sally ScD†

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This study explores the capacity of individuals with severe mental illness to be employed in managerial or professional jobs and the correlates of their vocational success. Using purposive sampling techniques, we identified a national sample of 347 individuals for a mail survey who had succeeded in obtaining and retaining mid to upper level managerial or professional positions. The majority worked full-time and held their job for more than 2 years. Their vocational success was operationalized based on 4 employment outcomes: employment status (full-time vs. part-time), job tenure, occupational rank, and annual income. Key factors that contributed to respondents’ vocational success were lesser severity of the illness as indicated by lack of lifetime receipt of disability benefits, capacity to manage one's own psychiatric condition, and higher education. Study findings point to the role of supported education and self-efficacy in promoting the employment outcomes among individuals with severe mental illnesses.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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