Event Title

Attitudes Towards Mental and Physical Illness

Poster Number

020

Faculty Mentor

Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Rutledge

Start Date

20-4-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 2:00 PM

Description

This research aims to examine the effect of type of illness (mental or physical) and severity of illness (mild or severe) on perceived control of the illness as well as favorable and unfavorable emotions towards each illness. Our participants were mostly college students, but also included participants recruited from social media using the same recruitment text. Participants were given an online questionnaire to measure perceived control as well as favorable and unfavorable emotions toward mental and physical illness. We hypothesized that participants would perceive more control over the illness for those with a mental illness than those with a physical illness. This was partially supported because severity was more related to perceived controllability, but there was a significant interaction. We also hypothesized that participants would perceive the locus of causality to be more within the person afflicted with a mental illness than a the person with a physical illness. This hypothesis was supported and there was a significant interaction. We hypothesized that participants would perceive the cause of mental illness to be less stable over time than the cause of physical illness, which was partially supported with a significant interaction. Our hypothesis that participants would have less favorable emotions towards mental illness compared to physical illness was supported. Our hypothesis that participants would have more unfavorable emotions toward mental illness compared to physical illness was partially supported; the main effect of severity on unfavorable emotions was significant. Future directions should examine perceived causes of mental and physical illnesses.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 2018

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Collins

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Apr 20th, 12:00 PM Apr 20th, 2:00 PM

Attitudes Towards Mental and Physical Illness

Rutledge

This research aims to examine the effect of type of illness (mental or physical) and severity of illness (mild or severe) on perceived control of the illness as well as favorable and unfavorable emotions towards each illness. Our participants were mostly college students, but also included participants recruited from social media using the same recruitment text. Participants were given an online questionnaire to measure perceived control as well as favorable and unfavorable emotions toward mental and physical illness. We hypothesized that participants would perceive more control over the illness for those with a mental illness than those with a physical illness. This was partially supported because severity was more related to perceived controllability, but there was a significant interaction. We also hypothesized that participants would perceive the locus of causality to be more within the person afflicted with a mental illness than a the person with a physical illness. This hypothesis was supported and there was a significant interaction. We hypothesized that participants would perceive the cause of mental illness to be less stable over time than the cause of physical illness, which was partially supported with a significant interaction. Our hypothesis that participants would have less favorable emotions towards mental illness compared to physical illness was supported. Our hypothesis that participants would have more unfavorable emotions toward mental illness compared to physical illness was partially supported; the main effect of severity on unfavorable emotions was significant. Future directions should examine perceived causes of mental and physical illnesses.