Date of Award
MA in Psychology
Individuals with schizophrenia that have experienced psychiatric hospitalization are one of the most stigmatized populations of the mental health field. The language that is utilized to describe this population is linked with the perpetuation of stigmatizing attitudes associated with schizophrenia and psychiatric hospitalization. Altering the type of language that is used to describe these individuals can decrease stigma. Participants (N=79) were asked to read a description of a character where the language used reflected either a strength-based approach or a deficit-based approach to schizophrenia and psychiatric hospitalization. The characters are individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia that have recently been discharged from an inpatient unit at a psychiatric hospital. The characters were also described as currently living outside the hospital with outpatient treatment. Participants indicated the degree to which they were willing to interact and engage in social activities with them through a social distance scale. Participants were also asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their beliefs about schizophrenia and psychiatric hospitalization. The questionnaires were written in either strength-based or deficit-based language depending on condition. There was no significant difference found between the strength-based language (SBL) condition and the deficit-based language (DBL) condition in willingness to engage in social activities with the characters. There was also no significant difference found between the strength-based language (SBL) condition and the deficit-based language (DBL) condition in stigmatizing attitudes expressed on the belief questionnaire.
Grabow, Jaime Taylor, "Institutional Labels: A Language-Based Approach to Decreasing Stigma Associated with Schizophrenia and Psychiatric Hospitalization" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 228.