Date

2019 12:00 AM

Major

Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project Advisor

Monica Marsee

Description

A prominent public stigma surrounds mental illness and psychological treatment. Research suggests that this stigma can be manifested through a desire for social distance, especially in the cases of depression, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders. Research suggests that although beliefs change as they mature, children can conceptualize mental illness in a surprisingly sophisticated way. Education and experience with mental illness can further develop these beliefs. However, little within-subjects research has been conducted surrounding this topic. The present study examines these questions through various retrospective online self-report questionnaires including: measures of desired social distance (SD), beliefs about mental illness (BMI), help-seeking stigma (SSOSH), and experience with mental illness. Data on SD and BMI were collected on current beliefs and childhood beliefs. Inferential statistical tests and correlational analyses were conducted to determine both whether SD and BMI changed over time and whether these measures can be predicted by experience with mental illness. Results showed significant change in SD and BMI, but these variables did not correlate with experience. However, SSOSH correlated with both current and childhood BMI. In order to produce more conclusive results, future research should develop a more reliable measure of experience with mental illness and collect longitudinal data.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

The Development of Perceptions of Mental Illness and Help-Seeking Behaviors

A prominent public stigma surrounds mental illness and psychological treatment. Research suggests that this stigma can be manifested through a desire for social distance, especially in the cases of depression, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders. Research suggests that although beliefs change as they mature, children can conceptualize mental illness in a surprisingly sophisticated way. Education and experience with mental illness can further develop these beliefs. However, little within-subjects research has been conducted surrounding this topic. The present study examines these questions through various retrospective online self-report questionnaires including: measures of desired social distance (SD), beliefs about mental illness (BMI), help-seeking stigma (SSOSH), and experience with mental illness. Data on SD and BMI were collected on current beliefs and childhood beliefs. Inferential statistical tests and correlational analyses were conducted to determine both whether SD and BMI changed over time and whether these measures can be predicted by experience with mental illness. Results showed significant change in SD and BMI, but these variables did not correlate with experience. However, SSOSH correlated with both current and childhood BMI. In order to produce more conclusive results, future research should develop a more reliable measure of experience with mental illness and collect longitudinal data.