Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families and groups from one social position to another. Researchers indicate that people with psychiatric disabilities tend to come from lower socioeconomic status groups, and that the causal relationship between lower socioeconomic status and mental illness occurs through social mobility process. The purpose of this study was to examine the occupational social mobility process of a sample of self-identified psychiatrically disabled individuals who have been active members of the labor force for most of their adult lives. A total of 200 participants were recruited from the customers of a One-Stop Career Center in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The social mobility pattern of persons with psychiatric disabilities was compared to that of persons without psychiatric disabilities (n = 100 for each group). That is, the social selection and the social causation hypotheses were applied to the social mobility patterns of people with psychiatric disabilities. It was revealed that the social class distribution for fathers of people with psychiatric disabilities was not different from that of people without psychiatric disabilities and also there was no significant social mobility difference between the two groups. These findings do not support the social causation and the social selection hypotheses. Specifically, the findings demonstrate that occupational capabilities and skills of people with psychiatric disabilities have been stabilized and are similar to those of people without psychiatric disabilities. Furthermore, these results may dispute several biases and prejudices with regard to social mobility process of persons with psychiatric disabilities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)