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Br J Psychiatry. 2005 Apr;186:331-4.

Causal beliefs and attitudes to people with schizophrenia. Trend analysis based on data from two population surveys in Germany.

Author information

  • 1University of Leipzig, Department of Psychiatry, Johannisallee 20, D-04317 Leipzig, Germany. krausem@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is a widely shared belief that an increase in mental health literacy will result in an improvement of attitudes towards people with mental illness.

AIMS:

To examine how the German public's causal attributions of schizophrenia and their desire for social distance from people with schizophrenia developed over the 1990s.

METHOD:

A trend analysis was carried out using data from two representative population surveys conducted in the Lander constituting the former Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and 2001.

RESULTS:

Parallel to an increase in the public's tendency to endorse biological causes, an increase in the desire for social distance from people with schizophrenia was found.

CONCLUSIONS:

The assumption underlying current anti-stigma programmes that there is a positive relationship between endorsing biological causes and the acceptance of people with mental illness appears to be problematic.

Comment in

  • Biology and stigma. [Br J Psychiatry. 2006]
PMID:
15802691
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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