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Interventions to Reduce Prejudice Towards, and Avoidance of, People with Mental Illness

Mandela, Rachel (2013) Interventions to Reduce Prejudice Towards, and Avoidance of, People with Mental Illness. DClinPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Research has identified education and contact as two effective strategies for reducing prejudice, discrimination and avoidance of people with a mental illness. This thesis explores ways in which these strategies can be effectively employed. Section 1 Experimental literature testing the differential impact of biogenetic and psychosocial explanations of mental illness on stigma was systematically reviewed. The review found that whilst biogenetic explanations tended to engender less blame, psychosocial explanations tended to engender lower perceptions of risk and a more optimistic outlook on prognosis. Desire for social distance tended not to be affected by causal explanation. Mental health professionals should be aware of the potential impact of different causal explanations on stigma when talking to patients, carers and colleagues. The review noted the need for more stigma research using behavioural outcome measures. Section 2 An empirical report investigated the effect of forming implementation intentions on a key discriminatory behaviour: avoidance. An undergraduate sample (N = 148) was invited to a purported meeting with a person with schizophrenia. Participants who had previously had contact with a person with this diagnosis were less avoidant than participants who lacked experience, and forming an implementation intention did not influence their behaviour. However, for participants who had no previous contact with a person with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, forming an implementation intention made it significantly more likely that they would attend the meeting. Implementation intentions aimed at reducing avoidance of people with mental illness could augment anti-stigma interventions, promote contact and thus reduce prejudice.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Keywords: Stigma, implementation intentions, avoidance, mental illness, causal explanations
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.581695
Depositing User: Rachel Mandela
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2013 15:23
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 10:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4555

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