Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Leah E. Daigle

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark D. Reed

Third Advisor

Dr. Joshua C. Hinkle

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Brent E. Teasdale


Scholars have consistently shown that people with mental illness are at an elevated risk for victimization experiences when compared to their non-disordered counterparts (Goodman et al., 2001; Hiday et al. 1999; Hiday et al., 2002; Silver, 2002; Teplin et al., 2005; Walsh et al., 2003). Researchers have identified numerous risk factors that elevate the risk of victimization experiences amongst people with mental illness; yet, little is known about what factors may protect this group of people from victimization That is, what is currently missing in the literature is the assessment of why, despite elevated risk, some persons with mental illness are notvictimized – known as resiliency. Utilizing multiple datasets, factors that are associated with resiliency from victimization amongst those with mental illness are investigated using multiple measure strategies for resiliency. Further, subsequent analyses examining group differences based on biological sex within the resiliency process are explored. Additional analyses examining how protective factors may differ within diagnostic categories are also examined. The applicability of resiliency models for people with mental illness are also explored. Results suggest that two domains of protective factors are important in the resiliency process from victimization amongst this population including those related to social support and those related to institutions such as the school. Results also suggest there are differences in protective factors that influence resiliency based on biological sex and protective factors within different diagnostic categories are identified. Finally, the compensatory resilience model appears to be the most applicable for people with mental illness. Future research and prevention implications are discussed.