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

Bruce S Zahn, EdD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Mark Salzer, PhD


Increased social inclusion and enhanced quality of life for individuals with severe mental illnesses (SMIs) are goals of the recovery movement. The present study examined the differences in reported subjective social inclusion (SubSI) and objective social inclusion (ObjSI) between individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) and those diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Furthermore, the amount of variance in quality of life (QOL) which can be predicted by type of diagnosis, SSDs or MDD, symptom severity, and SubSI and ObjSi was determined. An archival data set was used. Participants were 337 individuals whose primary diagnosis was an SSD or MDD. Overall, participants diagnosed with an SSD were found to report less social inclusion than participants diagnosed with MDD; specifically, participants diagnosed with an SSD reported significantly lower SubSI than participants diagnosed with MDD. ObjSI, SubSI, symptom severity, and diagnosis were found to significantly predict QOL and accounted for 31.3% of the variance in QOL. Higher scores on the ObjSI and SubSI measures predicted higher QOL scores. Fewer symptoms indicated predicted higher QOL scores. Finally, a diagnosis of SSD was also predictive of higher QOL scores than a diagnosis of MDD. Utilizing the knowledge gained through this study, clinicians can work to tailor treatment goals, treatment planning, and therapeutic milieu more appropriately for their clients with SMIs. Clinical researchers can utilize QOL as an outcome variable for determining treatment effects in a more robust manner. Other implications and limitations of the study are also explored.