[Greek students' attitudes towards mental disorders]

D Antoniadis, A Gouti, E Kaloudi, N Τourlende, A Douzenis, C Christodoulou, L Lykouras, M Livaditis, M Samakouri
Psychiatrikē, Psychiatriki 2016, 27 (2): 98-105
Attitudes and beliefs of the population regarding the mentally ill have been universally subject of many researches. Research of different groups' opinion for mental disorders has given remarkable findings that assist in the right design of psychiatric services. Objective of this thesis is to study the attitude of students towards mental illness. In particular, it intends to study the differences derived from the age, gender, place of birth, kind of studies, year of study, duration of stay at the place of studies and the existence of mental disorders in the student's family. Data were collected from 536 students randomly selected from Universities and Technological Institutions both in Athens and Thessaloniki. In general, the participants are being divided based on the subject of their studies in undergraduates of human sciences, exact sciences, social and health sciences. The short version of the scale "Community Attitudes Toward the Mentality III" (CAMI) was used, which consists of 26 questions sorted to four subscales (domination scale, humanism scale, social exclusion scale and the scale measuring the community beliefs regarding the care of mentally ill), along with a special questionnaire in order to collect social and demographic data. Students' attitudes towards mental illness are influenced by demographic factors, the department they are studying at and the year of study. Female gender (p=0.000), personal contact with mentally ill (p=0.012), studying in Universities (p=0.031) and especially social sciences (p=0.009) are associated with positive attitudes. On the contrary, less years of studying are associated with negative attitudes whereas older students appear to score less in the Domination Scale (p=0.000). It is significant that the place of birth (p=0,335) and the duration of stay at the place of studies (r=0.735) did not show any association with the variables studied in this research. However these results cannot be compared with older researches since there are not sufficient findings. Women tend to show more humanitarian attitude towards the mentally ill in comparison to men, emphasizing the role the community plays in their support reinforcing their reintegration in the community verifying the results of research conducted in Greece and other countries. Furthermore, students who have previously been in contact with mentally ill tend to have more favorable attitude and understanding towards them. The findings concerning the age and the years of studying highlight the imperative need of exploring thoroughly the knowledge regarding the attitudes towards mental illness.

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