Examining the relationship between educational attainment and recovery of adults with serious mental illnesses

Amber O'Shea, Mark S. Salzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between education and recovery-oriented outcomes among adults with serious mental illnesses (SMIs). Method: Data from 623 adults with SMIs were combined from 6 separate studies, using baseline measures prior to any intervention. An independent samples t test was conducted on recovery scores and overall quality of life (QOL) to compare participants with more than high school education to those with less. Additionally, a multivariate analysis of variance was run on each of the individual items of the QOL index to further investigate differences in QOL by education group. Results: Contrary to expectations, individuals with higher levels of educational attainment reported lower scores on recovery and several domains compared with individuals with lower levels of educational attainment. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The results of the current study indicate that people with SMIs with higher educational attainment may actually be at greater risk for experiencing poor recovery-oriented outcomes. Rehabilitation efforts should focus not only on increasing educational attainment, but managing other factors that potentially interfere with recovery, such as self-stigma and demoralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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