Halfway houses are intended as helping institutions for those who are attempting to make the transition from institutionalized mental health facilities to autonomous living in the community. In spite of the manifest goal to produce independence for its residents, however, the halfway house contributes to patterns of dependency. In addition to the network nature of mental health care, we identify three dependency-perpetuating elements: role commitments, language, and mixed messages. These elements are analyzed as both social organizational and social psychological processes, and their implications are discussed.

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