Melissa Layman-Guadalupe, Ph.D.
The topic of stigmatization of mental health disorders and use of psychological services has been widely researched. Gender differences have been found in attitudes regarding acceptability and treatability of mental illness, with adherence to gender roles influencing these attitudes. Past research has not explored non-traditional gender roles or the influence of social factors, like college adjustment. This study tested three hypotheses: that men and women with more feminine gender roles will display more accepting attitudes, that men and women with poorer college adjustment will also display more accepting attitudes, and that the relationship between college adjustment and attitudes towards mental health disorders will be moderated by gender role identification. Participants were students from PSY 101 and other classes and received research credit for their participation. Correlation analyses indicated that there is no significant relationship between gender roles and attitudes towards mental health disorders, but college adjustment significantly predicted these attitudes, with poorer college adjustment predicting more negative attitudes towards mental illness. The moderation model was not significant, as gender role does not influence the relationship between college adjustment and attitudes towards mental health disorders. Results of this study could help reduce mental illness stigma by identifying which factors contribute to the stigmatization. The results could also help university counseling centers to normalize mental illness and psychological services by using advertising to target the least accepting demographic.
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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Inman, Maggie, "Behind the Stigma: The Impact of Gender and College Adjustment on Attitudes towards Mental Health Disorders" (2017). Honors Theses. 116.