Effective community treatment of schizophrenia involves not merely the removal of florid symptoms, but restoration of effective social role functioning. The efficacy of a family management approach is compared with an individual approach of similar intensity in terms of its impact on the patient's social adjustment after a florid episode of schizophrenia. Clinical reports, patient self-reports, and interviews with the family members of 36 patients, who were randomly assigned to family or individual management, demonstrated a consistent superiority for family management. The advantages for the family approach were sustained over a two-year period. The potential mechanisms through which the family approach may have achieved its greater efficacy are discussed from a multi-determined perspective.