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Article   |    
Attitudes of Sheltered Care Residents Toward Others With Mental Illness
Steven P. Segal; Pamela L. Kotler; Jane Holschuh
Psychiatric Services 1991; doi:
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This study was supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The authors thank Carol Silverman and Lynda Sagrestano for their helpful comments.

Mental Health and Social Welfare Research Group at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, 120 Haviland Hall, Berkeley, California 94720

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Oakland, California

1991 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The social acceptance expressed by 234 former mental patients and by the general public toward persons with serious mental illness was compared. Factors that may affect social acceptance of such persons, including personal characteristics and experiences that promote identification with mentally ill persons and the subject's level of psychological distress, were examined. Former patients expressed attitudes that were much more accepting than those of the general public. As hypothesized, individual characteristics and experiences likely to increase former patients' identification with their peers (that is, visible deviant appearance, a high level of involvement within the sheltered care community, and the experience of negative community reactions to a resident's facility) were related to a higher score on a Guttman scale of social acceptance. An increased level of self-reported psychological distress tended to moderate such supportive attitudes.

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