Measuring mental illness identity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily J. Badillo-Winard (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Kari Eddington

Abstract: Despite the potential impact of mental illness on identity, there is a dearth of research examining the concept of illness identity in individuals with mental health concerns. Dimensions of illness identity that have been identified in populations with physical health conditions include engulfment, rejection, acceptance, and enrichment. To date, there are no measures of mental illness identity that comprehensively assess all of these aspects of illness identity in populations with mental health concerns. The absence of psychometrically sound measures of mental illness identity poses a significant obstacle to the advancement of research in this area. This study investigated the psychometric properties of an adapted measure of illness identity, the Illness Identity Questionnaire (IIQ), for use in populations with mental health concerns. The present study assessed the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Illness Identity Questionnaire-Mental Health (IIQ-MH). Confirmatory factor analyses drew on data collected from a diverse sample of adults (N = 1137) at two academic institutions. A CFA demonstrated that a four-factor structure yielded acceptable model fit. The final IIQ-MH contained 24 items assessing identification with mental health concerns in four domains. Results indicated that the four subscales of the IIQ-MH showed acceptable internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Analyses examining convergent, discriminant, and criterion validity of the IIQ-MH also yielded promising results. Findings suggest future avenues for further investigation using the IIQ-MH for comprehensively assessing personal identification with mental health concerns (mental illness identity) in adults.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Diagnoses, Mental illness identity, Personal identity
Mental illness $x Psychological aspects
Identity (Psychology)

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