Factors Associated with Money Mismanagement Among Adults with Severe Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

Int J Ment Health Addict. 2016 Aug;14(4):400-409. doi: 10.1007/s11469-015-9625-3. Epub 2015 Dec 30.


People with severe mental illness often have substantial problems with money mismanagement such as losing or lending money to other people and making impulsive or unnecessary purchases, including drugs and alcohol. Money mismanagement in turn affects patients' health and social functioning, and can lead to homelessness and other harm. This cross-sectional study evaluated demographic and clinical predictors of money mismanagement among SSI/SSDI recipients. SSI/SSDI beneficiaries (N = 95) with recent cocaine use initiating a clinical trial were assessed at intake with demographic, cognitive, psychiatric, social/family, substance abuse, and financial measures. In multivariate regression analyses, psychiatric functioning and drug dependence diagnosis were independent predictors of self-reported money mismanagement. Even within individuals whom all had recently used cocaine, those with drug dependence and those with more psychiatric symptomatology had more difficulty managing their funds. Future studies might determine whether people who reduce their drug use and psychiatric symptomatology go on to better manage their funds.

Keywords: Cocaine; Drug dependence; Financial management; Money management; Money mismanagement; Severe mental illness; Social security disability.