Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Recovery and Transformations from Loss in Adults with Serious Mental Illness

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Catherine Stein, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert Carels, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Dale Klopfer, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

John Liederbach, Ph.D. (Committee Member)


Recovery has become the overarching goal for mental health services for individuals with serious mental illness, yet little is known regarding the most salient ways that recovery is promoted. The main goal of the present study was to determine the role of various factors, including demographic, treatment, illness severity, and psychosocial characteristics, in predicting recovery processes and stages. The psychometric properties of the newly developed Transformations from Loss due to Mental Illness (TLMI) scale, which aims to measure positive changes made in response to the psychosocial losses associated with serious mental illness, were also evaluated. One hundred sixty adults with serious mental illness were recruited for the present study. After examining the psychometric properties of the TLMI, six items were eliminated from the original measure. Overall, the TLMI's construct validity was supported. The TLMI could serve as a clinical tool to identify paths to recovery or as an outcome measure to evaluate the impact of recovery interventions. Additionally, results from hierarchical regression analyses suggested that psychosocial factors were the strongest predictors of many aspects of recovery and transformations from loss. Recovery-based programming should take into account the impact of psychosocial factors, like personal loss and internalized stigma, which likely hinder the recovery process.