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Brief Reports   |    
Social Networks and Arrest Among Persons With Severe Mental Illness: An Exploratory Analysis
Lisa Davis, M.S.W.; John S. Brekke, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200443
View Author and Article Information

The authors are affiliated with the School of Social Work, University of Southern California, 214 University Park, MC-0411, Los Angeles, CA 90089 (e-mail: lisadavi@usc.edu).

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

Abstract

Objective  This exploratory study examined whether social network structures among persons with severe mental illness—the size of the current friendship network and the frequency of contact with it—are related to lifetime arrest.

Methods  Data from 119 individuals who participated in psychosocial rehabilitation programs in Los Angeles County were used. Hierarchical logistic regression modeling was applied.

Results  Having frequent contact with the network was associated with a five times greater likelihood of lifetime arrest (odds ratio [OR]=4.99, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.31–19.12), and having a larger network was associated with a 76% decrease in likelihood (OR=.24, CI=.06−.92).

Conclusions  Social network theories suggest that network structures influence attitudes and behaviors and access to resources among network members. Results indicate that friendship network structures in this population, typified by concentrated disadvantage, may be related to arrest and should be considered in future studies examining risk and protective factors for criminal justice involvement.

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Table 1Hierarchical logistic regression analysis for variables predicting lifetime arrest among 119 adults with severe mental illness
Table Footer Note

*p<.05, **p<.01

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