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Brief Reports   |    
Financial Victimization of Adults With Severe Mental Illness
Meredith Claycomb, M.A.; Anne C. Black, Ph.D.; Charles Wilber, M.Ed.; Sophy Brocke, B.A.; Christina M. Lazar, M.P.H.; Marc I. Rosen, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.005882012
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At the time of the study, Ms. Claycomb was affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, where Dr. Black, Ms. Lazar, and Dr. Rosen are affiliated. Dr. Black and Dr. Rosen are also with the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven. Mr. Wilber and Ms. Brocke are with the Institute of Living, Hartford, Connecticut. Send correspondence to Ms. Claycomb at meredith.claycomb@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association


Objective  People with severe mental illness are vulnerable to having other people directly take or misappropriate their disability payments. This study investigated the prevalence of different types of financial victimization and the client characteristics associated with being financially victimized.

Methods  Adults (N=122) receiving inpatient or intensive outpatient psychiatric treatment who received Social Security disability payments completed assessments about money management and victimization. A path model was used to estimate the association of victimization with participant characteristics.

Results  Seventy percent of participants experienced at least one type of financial victimization in the preceding 28 days; 35% ran out of money because of victimization. Victimization was significantly associated with being younger, having had more psychiatric hospitalizations, having more recent alcohol use, and, most robustly, having problems managing money (β=.52, p<.01).

Conclusions  Financial victimization of disability recipients in acute care settings is common and more likely among people with recent substance use and difficulty managing their funds.

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Table 1Self-reported victimization among 122 adults with severe mental illness who were receiving disability payments
Table Footer Note

a Respondents considered experiences over the past 28 days.



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