A Comparison of Stigmatizing Attitudes Toward Persons with Schizophrenia in Four Stakeholder Groups: Perceived Likelihood of Violence and Desire for Social Distance

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States
Psychiatry Interpersonal & Biological Processes (Impact Factor: 3.05). 02/2005; 68(2):152-63. DOI: 10.1521/psyc.2005.68.2.152
Source: PubMed


This study compared four stakeholder groups regarding the presence of stigmatizing attitudes toward a hypothetical person diagnosed with schizophrenia. Participants included consumers with schizophrenia (n = 104), family members of those with schizophrenia or other severe mental illness (n = 83), mental health clinicians (n = 85), and members of the general public (n = 59); all participants resided in North Carolina. The purpose of the analyses was to investigate whether mental health stakeholder groups differed from the general public and from each other in terms of key attitudes associated with stigmatization of persons with schizophrenia, that is, perceived likelihood of violent behavior, the desire for social distance, and the causes of the illness. Analysis of variance results with follow-up Scheffé tests indicated no statistically significant differences between the mental health stakeholder groups and members of the general public in the likelihood of violence or the desire for social distance. However, there was more variation between both the mental health stakeholder groups and the general public and within the mental health stakeholder groups in the perceptions of the causes of the mental illness. Throughout the analyses, the consumers tended to have the most negative views of the illness. Implications for future stigma research and education are discussed.

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    • "Specifically, it leads to placement in an environment that is more conducive to positive mental health and legal outcomes and is less dangerous, disorganized, and isolating (Baillargeon et al. 2010; Birmingham 2003; Ditton 1999; Forrester et al. 2010; NAMI 2004). This is paradoxical to the impact of psychotic spectrum diagnoses in the community, which have been associated with greater stigma, social isolation, and reduced life chances (Link et al. 1999; Pescosolido et al. 2007; Phelan et al. 2000; Van Dorn et al. 2005; Watson et al. 2005). However, diagnosis with a psychotic disorder may have long-term consequences for inmates following community reintegration, "
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    ABSTRACT: Although there is substantial evidence that African Americans receive unequal treatment in both the healthcare and criminal justice systems, less research has investigated the role of race when these two systems converge. Here, we examine the influence of race on patterns of forensic psychiatric diagnosis and determinations of criminal responsibility in pre-trial correctional facilities (e.g., forensic psychiatric hospitals). Data are from a medical chart review of 129 randomly selected competency evaluations that occurred in a pre-trial correctional psychiatric facility. Consistent with previous research, findings indicate that African Americans are disproportionately diagnosed with highly stigmatized psychotic spectrum disorders relative to whites. In addition, they unexpectedly indicate that African Americans are significantly more likely than whites to be found not criminally responsible by the court-appointed evaluating mental health professional, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, number of violent and non-violent charges, and other potential confounding variables. Mediation analysis reveals the important and previously undocumented finding that the effect of race on criminal responsibility determinations is fully mediated by differential diagnosis. This suggests that patterns of racial inequality and potential bias in the diagnostic process may confer medical resources and other benefits for African Americans in the context of the criminal justice system.
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    • "Although stigma toward people with a mental disorder among the general population has been well documented (Angermeyer and Dietrich, 2006), more recent attention has turned to assessing the attitudes of people who work with those with a mental illness: their health care providers. There is a growing body of research illustrating that many health care professionals who work with mental health patients have negative attitudes about these patients (for exceptions, see Chambers et al., 2010; Munro and Baker, 2007), further fuelling the stigma that these patients feel (Lauber et al., 2006; Nordt et al., 2006; Servais and Saunders, 2007; Van Dorn et al., 2005). Such attitudes can be problematic because research in the mental health arena and elsewhere suggests that health care workers' attitudes can influence the quality of care that they provide to their clients (Baker et al., 2005; Grosenick and Hatmaker, 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: The attitudes of mental health care workers toward their clients may influence the quality of care they provide. There is growing recognition of the role of implicit attitudes in behavior toward people with stigmatized illnesses, such as mental illness, and of the need to measure these separately from explicit attitudes. Seventy-four mental health workers completed implicit and explicit measure of attitudes toward people with mental illness. The participants were also asked about their intention to help people with mental illness and their emotional reactions toward people with a mental illness. The findings show that the implicit attitudes of the health workers toward clients with a mental illness are somewhat negative despite the fact that their explicit attitudes are somewhat positive. Although both implicit and explicit attitudes predicted negative emotions, only implicit attitudes were related to helping intentions. This study highlights the association between implicit attitudes and behavioral intentions and confirms the importance of addressing implicit attitudes in mental health research.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · The Journal of nervous and mental disease
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    • "Over the ensuing decades, both the construct of social distance and variations of the BSSD have been used to study the attitudes that people hold toward members of groups. For example, variations of the BSSD have been used in recent years to investigate attitudes toward people with mental illnesses (Bovina and Panov 2006; Dietrich et al. 2004; Van Dorn et al. 2005), social deviants (Kunz and Kunz 2001), racial and ethnic groups (Parrillo and Donoghue 2005; Raden 1998; Randall and Delbridge 2005), disabilities (Piercy, Wilton, and Townsend 2002; Reis 1988), and middle school social cliques (Batiuk, Boland, and Wilcox 2004). Evans and Need (2002) used a variation of the BSSD to study attitudes of people in former Communist nations in Eastern Europe with respect to minority rights. "
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    ABSTRACT: Participants in this study were ethnic Hungarian secondary students attending high schools in Romania in which Hungarian was the primary language of instruction. Attitudes of participants toward ethnic and cultural groups were measured using a variation of the Bogardus (1933) Scale of Social Distance. Results were consistent with predictions based on Allport's intergroup contact theory. Students reported a wide range of tolerance levels for majority and minority ethnic groups with which they were likely to have contact in Romania. However, the students reported little difference in tolerance levels for groups that are not a recognized part of the Romanian cultural landscape, such as people of Hispanic origin, and Native Americans.
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