The barriers to treatment and recovery associated with the stigma surrounding mental illness are widely acknowledged by clients, families, providers, and policy-makers. Indeed, the last decade has seen concerns for understanding the impacts of stigma move to the center of discussions among and between research, policy and advocacy groups. Central to the current application is the question of whether the increased interest and effort devoted to Ml stigma has had an effect on the manner in which the public views persons suffering from mental health problems. In particular, we aim to: 1) Conduct a 10-year follow up of the nationally representative 1996 General Social Survey (GSS) study, """"""""Problems in Modern Living"""""""" Module that examined stigma toward adults with mental illness and substance abuse problems; 2) Test a set of hypotheses on aggregate changes in stigma levels drawn from earlier research on prejudice & discrimination (i.e., race-based prejudice and discrimination) that have documented a liberalization in intolerant attitudes; and 3) Extend the GSS to provide data to test a theoretical model, the Etiology and Effects of Stigma (EES) Model that synthesizes ideas from past research on stigma in an attempt to provide a scientific foundation for further efforts to reduce stigma. As such, this proposal responds to calls to integrate mental health services research with social and behavioral science (PA-99-073), to explore the social and cultural dimensions of health (PA-02-043), and to provide a foundation for new intervention efforts (PA-04-112).
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