Individuals with Mental Illness and Stigma Reduction: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Group of College Students
Objective: Stigma has a significant impact on the life of individuals with mental illness. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of contact with the mentally ill with stigmatizing attitudes in a group of college students.
Method: A total of 287 college students participated in this study. The participants were recruited from Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences using convenience sampling and completed the research measures including the Level of Familiarity (LOF) and the Attribution questionnaires (AQ). The data were analyzed using SPSS.
Results: The descriptive findings of this study showed that the participants’ highest score on stigmatizing attitudes was related to pity and the least score was related to anger towards people with mental illness. Furthermore, the regression analysis results indicated that personal contact, family contact, and work contact with individuals with mental illness significantly predicted stigma reduction, while other types of contacts with the mentally ill, such as friend contact, social contact, and media contact, did not significantly predict stigma reduction.
Conclusion: This study highlighted the significant role of having contact with the mentally ill in reducing stigmatizing attitudes towards them.
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