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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2003 Feb;107(2):142-50.

Crazy? So what! Effects of a school project on students' attitudes towards people with schizophrenia.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Germany. beatemschulze@web.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Aiming at promoting young people's mental health and reducing stigma towards people with schizophrenia, project weeks were carried out with secondary school students aged 14-18 years (n=90). Key to the project week is meeting a (young) person with schizophrenia.

METHOD:

Students' attitudes and behavioural intentions towards people with schizophrenia were assessed before and after the project. Parallelly, a control group of students were questioned (n=60). Assessment was repeated after 1 month.

RESULTS:

Despite expected ceiling effects, the project led to a significant reduction of negative stereotypes. For social distance, a positive trend could be observed. These developments were not present with the controls. Attitude changes were still evident at the 1-month follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Results support the hypothesis that young people's attitudes about schizophrenia are susceptible to change. Antistigma projects at school level could thus be a promising approach to improving public attitudes and to preventing stereotypes from becoming reinforced.

PMID:
12534440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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