Daily Functioning and Neighborhood Characteristics in Black Americans with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSDs)

Black Americans are disproportionately diagnosed with SSDs and are more likely to experience worse outcomes over the course of the illness, such as higher rates of incarceration, homelessness, unemployment, and psychiatric hospitalizations. This project is designed to help increase understanding of the mechanisms underlying these effects. 



This study seeks to identify (1) if there are ethnoracial differences between Black, white, and Latinx people with serious mental health conditions in terms of how they spend their time; and (2) the extent to which neighborhood socioeconomic status impacts any observed differences. We hypothesize that due to structural racism, Black and Latinx communities may live in neighborhoods with fewer resources (e.g., fewer parks), which may limit opportunities and affect time allocation to different activities (e.g., working, socializing, exercising).


Using a secondary data analysis of 110 white and 131 Black individuals with SSDs, we examined racial differences in time allocation using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), a cellphone app based method which provides real-time information about daily activities. We also used geocoding methods to evaluate the extent to which neighborhood characteristics (which may reflect the consequences of racist policies) contributed to any disparities observed in our EMA data.


Arundati (Arun) Nagendra, PhD


Additional Collaborators

Colin Depp, PhD; Philip D. Harvey, PhD; Joshua Liu; Raeanne Moore, PhD; Amy Pinkham, PhD.


Funding for the parent projects on which these analyses are based was awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health to Drs. Pinkham, Harvey, Moore, & Depp.