Correlates of explicit and implicit stigmatizing attitudes of Canadian undergraduate university students toward mental illness: A cross-sectional study
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OBJECTIVE: To assess explicit and implicit attitudes toward mental illness of undergraduate students and explore associated variables. Participants: Year 1-4 undergraduate students from a large Canadian university (n = 382). Methods: Participants completed demographics, the Opening Minds Scale for Healthcare Providers, and an Implicit Association Test. Two-tailed independent and paired-samples t-tests, and ANOVA were performed with significance level at p < .05. Results: About 67.5% self-reported having experienced a mental illness and 31.2% had been diagnosed. Lower explicit stigma was associated with females, those with a history of mental illness diagnosis, and those who have had a close relationship with someone experiencing a mental illness. Faculty of Social Sciences students had significantly lower explicit stigma scores than Faculty of Engineering students. Implicit stigma did not show significant associations with any factors. Conclusions: A high proportion of undergraduate students experience mental illness. Increased exposure and experience were associated with reduced explicit stigma.
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