Attitudes towards mental illnesses: effects of labels and associations with materialism

Azhar, Humna, Kausar, Mohamed, Perera, Annja, Siddiqua, Aysha, Ferreira, Najla, Hyland, Lynda ORCID logoORCID: and Pietschnig, Jakob (2015) Attitudes towards mental illnesses: effects of labels and associations with materialism. Gulf Medical Journal, 4 (1) . pp. 32-38. ISSN 2306-6865 [Article]

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Background: Despite growing awareness, stigma against mentally ill individuals is still prevalent in society. Different labels attached to mental illnesses receive varying amounts of stigma. Moreover, materialistic societies have been shown to display a more negative outlook towards mentally ill individuals while compulsive disorders in general, elicit more negative attitudes. However, there has been only little research on the impact of materialism and the use of labels attached to mental illnesses, in relation to mental illness stigma. The current study focused on effects of materialism and label attachment on mental illness stigma in relation to perception of two compulsive disorders: oniomania (compulsive shopping) and kleptomania (compulsive stealing).

Materials and methods: A multicultural sample of 120 participants was recruited from Knowledge Village, Dubai. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions; oniomania labeled or oniomania non-labeled (questionnaire depicting oniomania with either illness name present or absent), kleptomania labeled or kleptomania non-labeled (questionnaire depicting kleptomania with either illness name present or absent). Materialism and attitudes towards mentally ill individuals were assessed in two self-report questionnaires and participants were requested to watch a video depicting the illness between filling the questionnaires.

Results: No significant influence of materialism or labels on mental illness stigma was found, as ps > .05. However, this study found that illness type appeared to be a stronger predictor of mental illness stigma than the other predictors of materialism and label attachment.

Conclusion: This study suggests that stigma can be reduced more effectively by creating awareness of mental illnesses.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 20331
Notes on copyright: Access to full text restricted pending copyright check
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Depositing User: Lynda Hyland
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2016 16:59
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 22:22

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