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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.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Germany.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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