What Affects Self-Esteem of Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities: The Role of Causal Attributions of Mental Illnesses

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This study addresses the factors which affect the self-esteem of persons with psychiatric disabilities, with a specific focus on the role of causal attributions of mental illnesses. It is based on data collected from 461 persons with psychiatric disabilities (consumers) served through psychiatric rehabilitation agencies. The results of regression analyses revealed that household income, diagnosis, psychiatric symptoms, service satisfaction, perceived stigma, and perceptions of social roles were all related to self-esteem. Consumers’ causal attributions did not have direct effects on self-esteem, but the effects of causal attributions on self-esteem were moderated by psychiatric symptoms and by perceptions of social roles, suggesting that self-esteem enhancement strategies should be tailored to consumers’ psychiatric and cognitive characteristics.

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