Journal Article

Prejudice, Social Distance, and Familiarity with Mental Illness

Patrick W. Corrigan, Annette Backs Edwards, Amy Green, Sarah Lickey Diwan and David L. Penn

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 219-225
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a006868
Prejudice, Social Distance, and Familiarity with Mental Illness

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In this study, the paths between two prejudicial attitudes (authoritarianism and benevolence) and a proxy measure of behavioral discrimination (social distance) were examined in a sample drawn from the general public. Moreover, the effects of two person variables (familiarity with mental illness and ethnicity) on prejudice were examined in the path analysis. One hundred fifty-one research participants completed measures of prejudice toward, social distance from, and familiarity with mental illness. Goodness-of-fit indexes from path analyses supported our hypotheses. Social distance is influenced by both kinds of prejudice: authoritarianism (the belief that persons with mental illness cannot care for themselves, so a paternalistic health system must do so) and benevolence (the belief that persons with mental illness are innocent and childlike). These forms of prejudice, in turn, are influenced by the believers' familiarity with mental illness and their ethnicity. We also discuss how these findings might contribute to a fuller understanding of mental illness stigma.

Keywords: Mental illness stigma; familiarity; prejudice

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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