Nigerian secondary school children's knowledge of and attitudes to mental health and illness

Nisha Dogra, Olayinka Omigbodun, Tunde Adedokun, Tolulope Bella, Pablo Ronzoni, Adekunle Adesokan
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2012, 17 (3): 336-53

BACKGROUND: Children tend to lack knowledge of, and hold negative attitudes towards mental illness. However, most of the work undertaken in Nigeria has been done with adults.

AIMS: To establish the views and knowledge about mental health and illness in pupils at four secondary schools in rural and urban Southwest Nigeria.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey based on a questionnaire previously used in the UK and adapted to Nigeria.

RESULTS: Data from 145 Nigerian schoolchildren showed little knowledge of, negative attitudes and social distance towards persons with mental health problems. Urban participants and boys appeared less knowledgeable than rural children and girls.

CONCLUSIONS: Nigerian schoolchildren, as with Nigerian adults and young people in Western countries, show stigma towards mental illness. This may be underpinned by a lack of knowledge regarding mental health problems. Educational interventions need to be appropriate to area, age and gender to effectively improve mental health literacy, which in turn will influence attitudes and social distance. However, the fact that the schoolchildren were optimistic about recovery is a strength that could be built upon.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"