Document Type

Article

First Advisor

Dr. Kristian Veit

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery

Abstract

Background

Mental health stigma describes the prejudice and discrimination faced by those with mental health disorders. Existing literature has connected heightened levels of stigma to lower levels of mental health education and lower levels of interpersonal contact with those experiencing mental health issues. Research also suggests a possible link between high religious fundamentalism and stigma.

Methods

To assess these relationships among these variables, a questionnaire was distributed online to 194 undergraduate students at a small religious university in the Midwest. The questionnaire included scales measuring fundamentalism and stigma, along with questions about mental health education levels and interpersonal contact with those experiencing mental health issues. Participants were recruited through professors known by the researcher, who e-mailed a link to the survey to their classes. Informed consent was given before participants continued to the rest of the survey.

Results

Data were analyzed using correlational tests and t-tests, and no statistically significant relationships were found between stigma and fundamentalism, contact, or education.

Conclusion

The lack of statistical significance suggests that the anticipated relationships did not exist in the sample surveyed. However, the scale used to assess stigma also has questionable validity, as demonstrated in the most recent research in which it has been used. Therefore, it is difficult to draw weighty conclusions from the study.

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