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Perceptions of stigma and violence towards individuals with depression and schizophrenia

Gundrania, Neera (2014) Perceptions of stigma and violence towards individuals with depression and schizophrenia. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Objective: Individuals who suffer from a mental illness generally experience stigma. There is a perception that individuals with a mental illness are different and are more likely to display acts of violence than individuals without a mental illness. This study examined the willingness of individuals to interact with males and females who exhibited symptoms commonly associated with depression or schizophrenia based on characters presented in vignettes. An additional question based on how likely the characters presented in the vignettes are to exhibit acts of violence was assessed. Methods: The study utilized a sample of the 2006 data from the General Social Survey; the sample size was 825. Randomly selected participants were read vignettes with characters that presented symptoms commonly associated with depression or schizophrenia. Based on the vignettes, participants were asked six questions focused on their willingness to interact with the characters presented in the vignettes. The participants were asked an additional question based on their perception of violence in regards to the characters presented in the vignettes. Results: Participants gave the male vignette character a higher mean score on all willingness to interact questions for both the vignettes depicting depression and schizophrenia. Conclusions: In general, stigmatization exists among individuals who suffer from depression and schizophrenia. The results of this study may have implications as how mental health care efforts should focus to reduce illness and gender specific related stigma. Mental illness effects a large segment of the US population, therefore, it is of public health significance to reduce mental health related stigma.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gundrania, Neerankg6@pitt.eduNKG6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorNolan,
Committee MemberHawk, Marymeh96@pitt.eduMEH96
Committee MemberGreeno, Catherinekgreeno@pitt.eduKGREENO
Date: 27 June 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 31 March 2014
Approval Date: 27 June 2014
Submission Date: 7 April 2014
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 59
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental health, stigma, perception, depression, schizophrenia
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2014 22:18
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:19


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