The Link between different kinds of Knowledge about Mental Illness and their Stigma

University essay from Örebro universitet/Institutionen för juridik, psykologi och socialt arbete; Örebro universitet/Institutionen för juridik, psykologi och socialt arbete

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine if people's knowledge about mental illness is related to their stigma against mental illness. We examined four types of knowledge a) knowledge treatment, b) knowledge of non-traditional diagnoses, c) knowledge of traditional , diagnoses, and d) personal knowledge of people with mental illness (called associations). Based on prior research, we hypothesized that the relation between high knowledge about mental health problems and treatment effectiveness would be curvilinearly related to stigma - with the higher and lower levels associated with more stigmatic cognitions, but moderate levels associated with holding fewer stigma. We also hypothesized that knowing others would be negatively related to stigma. We collected self-report survey data from 256 participants, using convenience sampling via social media forms. The results revealed that people's ability to identify traditional forms mental illness diagnoses was related to their stigmatic cognitions. In terms of associations the result revealed two subsets, including the groups we expected, but revealing more complexity. The results point to several issues that need to be addressed by future research.

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