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Title: The stigmatisation of mental health difficulties by adolescents, and its association with religious affiliation
Author: Teper, Nikki
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 7472
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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Rationale: Prior literature suggests that stigmatised views towards individuals with mental health difficulties are prevalent amongst British adults, and that such views lead to negative consequences at a personal and social level, as well as affecting access to psychological help. Furthermore, young adults and adolescents have been found to hold higher levels of stigmatised views than other participants. However, despite many anti-stigma campaigns directed towards secondary schools, few studies have explored the stigmatised views held by adolescents. Additionally, because religious doctrines teach values of empathy and kindness, the current study explored the views of adolescents who affiliated themselves with religion, towards individuals with mental health difficulties. Method: A total of 217 adolescents participated from four schools in South-East England: Muslim, Church of England, Jewish and Roman Catholic. Inclusion criteria required that schools were faith-based and of comparable socio-economic status. Schools were approached for participation with a letter and follow-up telephone-call, and opt-in/optout letters were offered. Participants were given a questionnaire that took approximately ten minutes to complete. Questionnaires included seven vignettes, each describing one of the following mental health difficulties: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, dementia, eating disorders, substance misuse and obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). Seven questions were repeated for each vignette, and related to a different theme of stigmatisation. Results: Quantitative methods were used to analyse the data. Results of factor analysis and cronbach's alpha indicated that although participants did not distinguish between their stigmatisation of the different mental health difficulties, there were three specific types of stigmatisation: social restrictiveness and authoritarianism, prognosis, and benevolence. The highest levels of negative ratings were towards schizophrenia and substance misuse, and the lowest were towards OCD and depression. The low negative ratings for benevolence suggested that participants considered the mental health difficulties to be taken seriously. Discussion and Implications: Results have implications for clinical practice, and suggest that systemic approaches may be useful when working with adolescents from faith-based backgrounds. They also suggest that anti-stigma campaigns need to do more than dispensing information, and that views of service-users and their families would be useful. Finally, a reflexive critical review is offered, as well as recommendations for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available