The Structuration of Community-Based Mental Health Care: A Duality Analysis of a Volunteer Group’s Local Agency

Alaina Zanin, Cameron W. Piercy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a lens of structuration theory, this study highlights the ways that specific structures within the current community-based model of mental health care might enable and constrain individuals and families living with mental illness. Through a case study of a volunteer mental illness advocacy group, the authors employed a duality analysis on a variety of data collected from the case (i.e., interviews, organizational documents, and community health care data). Findings indicate that while group members encountered structural barriers to their organizational mission, they also used communicative agency creatively and collectively to (re)create structures within the current community-based model of mental health care. Member agency is examined in relation to perceived structural influence. Theoretical and practical applications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQualitative Health Research
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • agency
  • duality analysis
  • mental health
  • midwestern United States
  • qualitative case study
  • structuration
  • volunteer organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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