Patient Patients? The Virtue of Patience and Severe Mental Illness


Diana B. Ro

Publication Date



Despite the significance of the virtue of patience in well-being, no research has examined the role of patience in well-being for populations with severe mental illness (SMI), who endure significant suffering (Gill, 2008; Spaniol, 2001). I examined whether patience predicted and correlated with well-being outcomes for patients with SMI in an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting. Patience was operationalized as: (a) interpersonal patience, (b) daily hassles patience, and (c) life hardships patience (Schnitker, 2012). Well-being outcomes assessed were decreased depression, decreased negative affect, increased positive affect, higher quality of life, and higher meaning and purpose in life. Participants answered self-report questionnaires upon admission and discharge. I found that patience predicted a decrease in negative affect, such that patients admitted with higher patience had greater decreases in negative affect from intake to discharge. Daily hassles patience was positively correlated with meaning and purpose in life. Life hardships patience was positively correlated with higher quality of life and meaning and purpose in life, and negatively correlated with negative affect. Patience did not predict depression or positive affect. Interpersonal patience was not correlated with depression or quality of life, and daily hassles patience was not correlated with positive or negative affect as originally hypothesized. Overall, these results suggest that the virtue of patience plays an important role in the well-being and recovery for populations with SMI.

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Schnitker, Sarah S.

Document Type





Patience, Mentally ill, Patients




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