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Adolescents' Stigmatisation of Mental Illness

Stigmatisation of individuals with mental illness has a negative effect on their quality of life, help seeking behaviour, treatment outcomes, and on the individual‟s self-esteem and self-efficacy. The stigmatisation of mental illness has a harmful impact on the individual experience of mental illness and is found to reduce help-seeking behaviour. Adolescents in particular, are theorised to be the most vulnerable to the effects of stigmatisation and vulnerable to mental illness. This makes the identification of possible stigma within the adolescent population the first of several important steps on the road to reducing stigmatisation of mental illness and increasing help-seeking behaviour within this population. This study examined how the knowledge that someone has a mental illness affected adolescent cognitions about that person. The results indicate no significant difference for the total scores on the PPQ for the experimental and control conditions. However, the adolescents did show stigmatisation of mental illness when looking at the individual questions on the PPQ. They saw the interviewee as hostile, less competent as a parent, and as someone they would be less likely to go to for help in solving their problems. This research supports international literature which suggests the most prevalent mental illness stigmatisations are related to dangerousness and competence.
Type of thesis
Greenman, A. M. (2012). Adolescents’ Stigmatisation of Mental Illness (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7560
University of Waikato
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