Do students and professionals of psychology differ in stigmatizing attitudes towards mentally ill?


  • A. EndriulaitienÄ—
  • K. ŽardeckaitÄ—-MatulaitienÄ—
  • R. MarkÅ¡aitytÄ—
  • A. PranckevičienÄ—
  • D.R. Tillman
  • D.D. Hof


University curriculum usually intend not only to develop knowledge and skills of future professionals, but also to prevent some risk that they may face when fulfilling their work roles and obligations. Psychologists working in mental health settings are under risk of early occupational burnout stigmatization of their clients, etc. Still the research on how stigmatizing attitudes towards mentally ill change during the development of professional identity and career of psychologist are rare. The purpose of this study was to explore if students of psychology program have different attitudes towards mentally ill when compared to working psychology professionals. 542 respondents (369 psychology students, 50 students working as psychologists, and 123 working psychologists) participated the study. The stigmatizing attitudes were measured with Community Attitudes towards Mentally Ill Scale, Social Distance Scale, and Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale. The results revealed that Master level students, working students and psychologists do not differ in stigmatizing attitudes. Bachelor level students hold more negative stigmatizing attitudes of all measures types towards mentally ill than Master level students and working psychologists. This confirms the efficiency of psychological education in prevention of stigmatization risk.





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