Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Petra Kottsieper, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stacey Cahn, PhD

Third Advisor

Mark Salzer, PhD


The recovery movement presents a shift in the treatment of severe mental illness to a more person-centered approach. The current researcher hypothesized that the more recovery-oriented a treatment was perceived to be, the more participants would have attended appointments and adhered to their psychiatric medication regimen. The variables of empowerment, recovery assessment, attitudes toward treatment, and participatory decision-making were explored in relation to their possible correlation with increased treatment adherence. An archival data set was used. Participants included 215 adults who met criteria for a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. The participants generally rated their treatment as high on all four of the recovery measures, and treatment nonadherence was not particularly problematic for the sample explored in the current study. Participants’ reports of increased symptom severity and reports of positive quality of life were found to be associated with higher reported levels of appointment attendance. Participants’ reports of positive attitudes toward psychiatric treatment were found to be associated with reports of better quality and frequency of medication adherence. Measuring whether treatment is recovery-oriented may not be predictive of patients’ levels of service engagement. Recommendations for future research include using additional and qualitative measures to capture the full construct of service engagement, beyond measures of treatment adherence. Additionally, recovery-oriented treatment is aimed to be individualized; therefore, studies measuring the recovery-orientation of a treatment provider should include alternative treatments used to enrich the lives of the patients.