Factors That Affect The Stigma Of Mental Illness In College Students

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Campbell, Colleen
Stigma; mental illness; college students; Mental Disorders; Psychiatry and Psychology
thesis / dissertation description
Nearly 50% of American 18-24 years olds are enrolled in college at least part time, and these years in college are often difficult, stressful times for students. In a study of over 200,000 first year college students, Iarovici (2014) found that students are reporting the lowest levels of emotional health in 25 years. Blanco et al. (2008) found that in a sample of students with mental illnesses, fewer than 25% sought treatment in the year before the survey, even though they were struggling, and this may be due to the stigma of mental illness. Stigma, according to Goffman (1963), is the application of negative characteristics to a person or group of people. This study sought to examine factors that may affect the stigma of mental illness. Variables examined included perceived public stigma, personal stigma, social desirability, locus of control, and stigma of depression specifically. The results showed a significant correlation between perceived public stigma of mental illness and perceived public stigma of depression and a significant correlation between personal stigma of mental illness and personal stigma of depression.