HAF Lab Overview:
The Housing & Adaptive Functioning Research Lab investigates the relationships between housing environments and adaptive functioning for persons facing challenging life circumstances. Current projects include people diagnosed with serious mental illness, people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and new immigrants to the United States. These projects share similar conceptual frameworks but investigate outcomes most relevant to the challenges in community living faced by the research participants.
We conceive of housing environments as including (a) physical components (e.g., apartment, other buildings in the neighborhood), (b) psychosocial components (e.g., perceptions of safety, neighborhood social climate, tolerance) and (c) interpersonal relationships tied to one’s housing (e.g., landlords/n property managers, neighbors). Our conceptual framework is grounded in the fields of social ecology and community psychology. We also incorporate methods and research questions from clinical psychology, anthropology, prevention science, public health, and social psychology. We use quantitative methods (e.g., mulit-level modeling, geographic information system analyses) and qualitative methods (e.g., narrative, ethnography, visual ethnography) to investigate the influences of community contexts on individual functioning. Most of our research questions emphasize transactional models of risk and protective factors associated with housing and neighborhood environments.
At present, the HAF lab is collaborating on several projects with the SC Department of Mental Health, local community mental health centers, SC-SHARE, and local non-profit housing providers to pursue this research. We are also collaborating with other investigators at USC. The projects described below are funded by the National Institute of Mental Health., the National Science Foundation, and the University of South Carolina.
This statewide project recruited 533 persons with mental illness living in their own apartments to participate in interviews about their housing, neighborhood experiences, stressors, social support, treatment, psychiatric well-being, & recovery and adaptive functioning. Research participants were recruited from 99 sites across South Carolina and all 17 community mental health centers. They completed a baseline interview and were invited to complete a 12-month follow-up; approximately 80% of the sample (n=424) completed the follow-up interview. Persons with supported housing have their own apartments in the community, legally represent themselves as tenants, receive a housing subsidy, and have available mental health services tailored to meet their needs. The housing is usually affiliated with a mental health center, local housing authority, or a partner non-profit agency. At the beginning of the study, there were approximately 750 units of supported housing in South Carolina.
Data sources for the study include tenant interviews, case manager interviews, surveys of MHC housing program administrators, researcher ratings of housing environments, and census data for each community.
The goal of this four-year program of research is to develop and test a transactional model of risk and protective factors for persons with serious mental illness. The purpose of the research is to build an evidence base that can guide future interventions in the promotion of adaptive functioning and recovery in community settings. We are working with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, local mental health centers, housing providers, and advocacy organizations to use the findings from this research to improve programs and policies for persons with SMI. Data analysis is on-going. Research is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the USC Department of Psychology.
Housing Environments for Mental Health Consumers Participating in CMHC Rehabilitation Programs
This study extends the HAF housing environment research to persons with SMI who live in more structured settings – residential care facilities, supervised apartments – as well as persons living with family. It draws its sample of 125 from the psychiatric rehabilitation programs of a community mental health center. Analyses are on-going. It is supported by NIMH
This qualitative study builds upon the largely quantitative HAF SMI studies to develop a richer understanding of participation in community life for persons with mental illness. We interviewed 40 persons with SMI living independently in the Columbia/ Lexington area of South Carolina. Half of the sample had supported housing and half did not. Over a series of three in-depth interviews, we investigated persons’ experiences in neighborhoods, challenges, resources, and expectations for participating in community life. Our data collection methods included participant interviews, naturalistic observation of neighborhoods, a guided "walk about" by research participants and visual ethnographic documentation of aspects of community life most important to research participants. Data collection will be completed in the Fall of 2006. Research is funded by the NIMH.
Housing Environments of Latino Immigrants
This pilot study extends the housing environment research to understanding the experience of Latino immigrant families. It adapts the conceptual framework developed for the HAF-SMI studies described above to understand the acculturation processes and experiences that may improve or impede well-being of Latino immigrants. It is supported by a mini-grant from the USC Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies. Data collection is on-going. We will seek federal funding for a larger scale study.
USC CARES Study – Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
The HAF lab is collaborating with the labs of Dr. Ben Hankin & Dr. Kate Flory on an integrated clinical-community investigation of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. USC - CARES is an acronym for the University of South Carolina - Coping, Affect, Resilience, and Environmental Stressors/Supports Study. We have interviewed over 100 persons who evacuated to Columbia, SC and 100 persons who have returned to the U.S Gulf Coast. Over the course of 8 months, we have been investigating factors that may increase the likelihood of episodes of depression, PTSD, and substance abuse as well as documenting factors associated with resilient responses. The scope of the study ranges from genetic vulnerabilities for psychopathology to patterns of social support associated with stress buffering and resilience. The HAF Lab is particularly interested in how "current" neighborhood conditions, social relationships, and resilience cognitive schemas may contribute to more positive experiences after a catastrophe of this magnitude. The on-going study includes qualitative and quantitative analyses. It is supported by a National Science Foundation grant to Drs. Hankin and Flory and NIMH funding to Dr. Kloos.
Joanna Lau, Dissertation, Chair
Brian McGregor, Dissertation, Chair
Erin Spelman, Dissertation, Chair
Lindsey Stillman, Dissertation, Chair
Eric Green, Dissertation, Chair
Annie Wright, Master’s Thesis, Chair
Rachel Smolowitz, Master’s Thesis, Chair
Payton Foust, Honor’s College Thesis, Chair
Wright, P.A. & Kloos, B. (In press). Housing Environment and Mental Health Outcomes: A Levels of Analysis Perspective. Journal of Environmental Psychology.
Kloos, B., Gross, S.M., Meese, K.J., Meade, C.S., Doughty, J.D., Hawkins, D.D., Zimmerman,S.O., Snow, D.L., Sikkema, K.J. (2005). Negotiating Risk: Knowledge and Use of HIV Prevention by Persons with Serious Mental Illness Living in Supportive Housing. American Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 357-372
Kloos, B. (2005). Community science: An alternative place to stand? American Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 259-267.
Kloos, B. (2005). Creating new possibilities for promoting liberation, well-being, and recovery: Learning from experiences of psychiatric consumers / survivors. In G. Nelson, & I. Prilleltensky, (Eds.) Community psychology: In pursuit of well-being and liberation. London: MacMillan.
Kloos, B. (Ed.) (2005). Special Section - Expanding the potential for self-help and mutual support to improve well-being: Continuities and vitality in new contexts. The Community Psychologist, 38 (2), 33-43.
Kloos, B. (2004). Self-help and mutual support: The relevance for community psychology. The Community Psychologist, 37 (1) 23-25.
Chinman, M., Kloos, B, O’Connell, M., & Davidson, L. (2002). Service providers’ views of psychiatric mutual support groups. Journal of Community Psychology, 30 (4), 349-366.
Kloos, B., Zimmerman, S.O., Scrimenti, K., & Crusto, C. (2002). Landlords as partners for promoting success in supported housing: "It takes more than a lease and a key". Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 25 (3), 235-244.
Rowe, M., Kloos, B., Chinman, M, Davidson, L. & Cross, A.B. (2001). Homelessness, mental illness, and citizenship. Social Policy and Administration, 35 (1) 14-31.
Kloos, B. & Moore, T. (2000). The prospect and purpose of locating community research and action in religious settings. Journal of Community Psychology, 28 (2) 119-137.
University of South Carolina
USC Department of Psychology
USC Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies
Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. (MIRCI)
Mental Health Association of South Carolina
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill -SC
South Carolina Department of Mental Health
Community Psychology Net
American Journal of Community Psychology
Journal of Community Psychology
Self-Help, Community Integration, Recovery from Mental Illness
National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Mental Health Services & Research
Lindsey Stillman, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am originally from Pennsylvania and graduated from Bucknell University. My first involvement in the HAF Lab was as an interviewer during the summer of 2004 (Wave I). I officially joined the Lab in the fall of 2005 to help with preparations for quantitative data analysis and recently started working with qualitative data. My research interests revolve around understanding the influence of social contexts on the functioning on the well-being of children affected by conflict. Currently I am preparing for nine months of dissertation fieldwork in northern Uganda. This project will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the post-war social ecology in northern Uganda. A major goal of this study is to understand the impact of direct violence, structural violence, and post-war relocation on multiple ecological levels of this society. This project is intended to create an empirical base for the promotion of systemic peacebuilding in a society emerging from what the United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs has called "the biggest forgotten, neglected humanitarian emergency in the world today."
I am also currently teaching an undergraduate Community Psychology course and working part-time at a community agency. Growing out of my community practicum experience, I coordinate the Kids Cafe program at Harvest Hope Food Bank. In the 2005-2006 school year, we served more than 33,000 meals through safe, nurturing after school programs to children in need in the Midlands area of South Carolina. The Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program was honored by America's Second Harvest with a Model Program Award in 2005. This award supported a needs-based strategic plan we developed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies
Annie Wright, Email: email@example.com
Rachel Smolowitz, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie McDaniel, Email: email@example.com
Greg Townley, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kip Thompson, Email: email@example.com
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