Cultural Misconceptions and Public Stigma about Mental Illness
Keywords:Cultural Misconceptions, Mental Illness, Stigma, Patients, family, University Students
Background: This study aims to identify the demographic and cultural correlates of mental illness stigma
towards patients and their family members from the perspectives of university students.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional design was employed. A total of 398 students from four universities
participated in the study. They completed the demographic data questionnaire, the scale of cultural
misconceptions about mental illness and the Discrimination–Devaluation Scale.
Results: Results of independent t-test and one-way ANOVA indicated no significant difference in the levels
of mental health stigma towards patients and their families based on students’ gender, faculty and place
of residency. Previous history of family mental illness was associated with stigma towards patients and
their families. Old age was associated with few mental stigmas towards patients’ families. Various cultural
misconceptions about the causes and the treatment of mental illness were significantly associated with
mental illness stigma.
Conclusion: Addressing cultural misconceptions is crucial in reducing mental illness stigma.
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