Causal beliefs and attitudes to people with "schizophrenia"
Aug 16, 2019 —
Causal beliefs and attitudes to people with schizophrenia
Trend analysis based on data from two population surveys in Germany MATTHIAS C. ANGERMEYER, HERBERT MATSCHINGER
The British Journal of Psychiatry Mar 2005, 186 (4) 331-334;
Background It is a widely shared belief that an increase in mental health literacy will result in an improvement of attitudes towards people with mental illness.
Aims To examine how the German public’s causal attributions of schizophrenia and their desire for social distance from people with schizophrenia developed over the 1990s.
Method A trend analysis was carried out using data from two representative population surveys conducted in the Länder constituting the former Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and 2001.
Results Parallel to an increase in the public’s tendency to endorse biological causes, an increase in the desire for social distance from people with schizophrenia was found.
Conclusions The assumption underlying current anti-stigma programmes that there is a positive relationship between endorsing biological causes and the acceptance of people with mental illness appears to be problematic.
1 People with schizophrenia now face more rejection than a decade ago.
2 Change towards more biological causal attributions of schizophrenia is not associated with more positive attitudes towards the patients.
3 Educating people about the biological causes of schizophrenia may not improve their attitudes towards people with schizophrenia.
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