American Sociological Association

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  1. Therapeutic Social Control of People with Serious Mental Illness: An Empirical Verification and Extension of Theory

    Mental health services and psychiatric professional values have shifted in the past several decades toward a model of client autonomy and informed consent, at least in principle. However, it is unclear how much has changed in practice, particularly in cases where client behavior poses ethical challenges for clinicians. Drawing on the case of clients’ sexual behavior and contraception use, we examine whether sociological theories of “soft” coercion remain relevant (e.g., therapeutic social control; Horwitz 1982) in contemporary mental health treatment settings.
  2. After the Rainy Day: How Private Resources Shape Personal Trajectories following Job Loss and Amplify Racial Inequality

    Using data from in-depth interviews with a diverse group of people who lost jobs between 2007 and 2011, my study identifies the important role of private resource banks—reserves of personal resources such as assets and social connections amassed during more favorable times—following job loss. Without these resources, job losers are unable to move past the struggle to survive and onto recovery (through reemployment, comfortable labor market exit, or buffered labor market failure).
  3. “If You Were Like Me, You Would Consider It Too”: Suicide, Older Men, and Masculinity

    Rates of suicide are far higher for older men than for any other age or gender group. However, we know relatively little about how depressed older men think about suicide. This study addresses this gap by exploring how Latino and white non-Hispanic elderly men discuss why they would or would not contemplate suicide. Men, aged 60 and older, were screened and assessed using standard instruments for clinical depression. Those meeting criteria were invited to participate in a 1.5 to 2.5-hour in-depth interview, in either English or Spanish.
  4. Histories of Perceived Job Insecurity and Psychological Distress among Older U.S. Adults

    Changes in the labor market and employment contracts over the past several decades and a recent global recession have increased the salience of perceived job insecurity as a risk factor for poor mental health. We use 25 years of prospective data from the Americans’ Changing Lives study to examine long-term histories of perceived job insecurity and their link to psychological distress. We build on the prior literature by using a much longer window of exposure and accounting for involuntary job losses over the lengthy observation period.
  5. The Impact of Housing Assistance on the Mental Health of Children in the United States

    Housing assistance policies may lead to improved mental health for children and adolescents by improving housing quality, stability, and affordability. We use a unique data linkage of the National Health Interview Survey and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development administrative data to examine the impact of housing assistance on parent-reported mental health outcomes for children ages 2 to 17 (N = 1,967).
  6. Parental Incarceration and the Family: Psychological and Social Effects of Imprisonment on Children, Parents, and Caregivers

    Ana Campos-Holland reviews Parental Incarceration and the Family: Psychological and Social Effects of Imprisonment on Children, Parents, and Caregivers by Joyce A. Arditti.

  7. From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy, and Prevention

    Scott Decker reviews From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy, and Prevention edited by Rolf Loeber and David P. Farrington

  8. The Public Stigma of Mental Illness What Do We Think; What Do We Know; What Can We Prove?

    By the 1990s, sociology faced a frustrating paradox. Classic work on mental illness stigma and labeling theory reinforced that the “mark” of mental illness created prejudice and discrimination for individuals and family members. Yet that foundation, coupled with deinstitutionalization of mental health care, produced contradictory responses. Claims that stigma was dissipating were made, while others argued that intervention efforts were needed to reduce stigma.

  9. Resisting the Stigma of Mental Illness

    The relationship between stigmatization and the self-regard of patients/consumers with mental disorder is negative but only moderate in strength, probably because a subset of persons with mental illness resists devaluation and discrimination by others. Resistance has seldom been discussed in the stigma and labeling literatures, and thus conditions under which individuals are resistant have not been identified.

  10. Creating an Age of Depression: The Social Construction and Consequences of the Major Depression Diagnosis

    One type of study in the sociology of mental health examines how social and cultural factors influence the creation and consequences of psychiatric diagnoses. Most studies of this kind focus on how diagnoses emerge from struggles among advocacy organizations, economic and political interest groups, and professionals.