In this month's issue Jeffrey Draine, Ph.D., and his colleagues attempt to show that poverty is a critical moderator of the relationship between serious mental illness and social problems such as crime, unemployment, and homelessness. "Persons with mental illness experience social problems more frequently," they argue, "because they live in a world in which these problems are endemic, not just because they are mentally ill." They call on mental health researchers to take into account the broader social context in which mental illness is embedded and to examine factors related to poverty. By comparing the experience of persons who have serious mental illness with that of persons in similar socioeconomic situations who are not ill, researchers will find that the impact of mental illness is much smaller than that implied in most of the psychiatric literature. To support this claim, Dr. Draine and his colleagues provide evidence from the work of nonpsyhciatric researchers who have studied the impact of social disadvantage (see page 565). In a commentary, Scott H. Nelson, M.D., contends that the authors fail to show that untreated mental illness is not substantially associated with the social problems experienced by this population (see page 573). Two other commentators, Margaret E. Severson, J.D., M.S.W., and Alice A. Lieberman, Ph.D., note that research on the complex relationships between mental illness and social problems has been under way since 1939 and that the time has come to move forward with solutions instead of repeating the same questions (see Taking Issue, page 507).