JOURNAL ARTICLE

The meaning attached: attitudes towards the mentally ill

S Ramon
Mental Health and Society 1979, 5 (3): 164-82
470604
It was assumed that attitudes to the mentally ill differ among groups following a range of personal and social involvement, the four groups being patients, family members, professionals and non-involved persons. To test this assumption a semantic differential scale of qualities and constructs mental illness and questionnaire of situations on meeting the mentally ill were administered to 120 persons from these groups. Results indicate that a continuum of negative attitudes to the mentally ill exists, the most negative position being taken by the non-involved, the most positive by the professionals, with patients and family members in the middle. In response to the questionnaire it appears that close personal relations with the mentally ill and recent date of occurrence of disturbance are associated with positive reactions to the mentally ill.

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