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      Evidence for the Influence of Social Dominance Orientation and Intergroup Relations on the Stigma of Schizophrenia


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          Abstract. The stigma of schizophrenia is an intergroup phenomenon associated with issues of social power. We consider that the concept of stigma power should be extended to include intergroup relations that go beyond the aspect of the relation between “schizophrenic” and “normal.” With the present study, we intend to demonstrate that perceivers hold more stigmatizing attitudes toward a person with schizophrenia belonging to the outgroup and that especially when the perceiver has a higher Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). One hundred and sixty-one participants from the general population participated in our study (50.3% male, M age = 39.14, SD = 16.36), which was based on a 2 (Sex of Target: male vs. female) × 2 (Sex of Participant: male vs. female) × SDO between-subjects design. The participants read a standardized vignette used in previous research, depicting a person presenting the symptoms of schizophrenia, and were then asked to complete questionnaires about SDO and intention to discriminate against the depicted individual. Our analysis showed the main effect of SDO on discriminating intentions. Simple slope analysis revealed that SDO predicts male participants’ discriminating intentions when the target is a woman, while this relation is not significant when the target is a man. The exact reverse pattern was observed among female participants. Our results suggest intergroup relations and ideological motivations underpin the stigma of schizophrenia. We conclude that different group belongings of individuals with schizophrenia as well as the public’s ideological motivations should be further considered by future research and anti-stigma efforts.

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          "A disease like any other"? A decade of change in public reactions to schizophrenia, depression, and alcohol dependence.

          Clinicians, advocates, and policy makers have presented mental illnesses as medical diseases in efforts to overcome low service use, poor adherence rates, and stigma. The authors examined the impact of this approach with a 10-year comparison of public endorsement of treatment and prejudice. The authors analyzed responses to vignettes in the mental health modules of the 1996 and 2006 General Social Survey describing individuals meeting DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia, major depression, and alcohol dependence to explore whether more of the public 1) embraces neurobiological understandings of mental illness; 2) endorses treatment from providers, including psychiatrists; and 3) reports community acceptance or rejection of people with these disorders. Multivariate analyses examined whether acceptance of neurobiological causes increased treatment support and lessened stigma. In 2006, 67% of the public attributed major depression to neurobiological causes, compared with 54% in 1996. High proportions of respondents endorsed treatment, with general increases in the proportion endorsing treatment from doctors and specific increases in the proportions endorsing psychiatrists for treatment of alcohol dependence (from 61% in 1996 to 79% in 2006) and major depression (from 75% in 1996 to 85% in 2006). Social distance and perceived danger associated with people with these disorders did not decrease significantly. Holding a neurobiological conception of these disorders increased the likelihood of support for treatment but was generally unrelated to stigma. Where associated, the effect was to increase, not decrease, community rejection. More of the public embraces a neurobiological understanding of mental illness. This view translates into support for services but not into a decrease in stigma. Reconfiguring stigma reduction strategies may require providers and advocates to shift to an emphasis on competence and inclusion.
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            Social dominance theory and the dynamics of intergroup relations: Taking stock and looking forward

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              Prejudice and schizophrenia: a review of the 'mental illness is an illness like any other' approach.

              Many anti-stigma programmes use the 'mental illness is an illness like any other' approach. This review evaluates the effectiveness of this approach in relation to schizophrenia. The academic literature was searched, via PsycINFO and MEDLINE, to identify peer-reviewed studies addressing whether public espousal of a biogenetic paradigm has increased over time, and whether biogenetic causal beliefs and diagnostic labelling are associated with less negative attitudes. The public, internationally, continues to prefer psychosocial to biogenetic explanations and treatments for schizophrenia. Biogenetic causal theories and diagnostic labelling as 'illness', are both positively related to perceptions of dangerousness and unpredictability, and to fear and desire for social distance. An evidence-based approach to reducing discrimination would seek a range of alternatives to the 'mental illness is an illness like any other' approach, based on enhanced understanding, from multi-disciplinary research, of the causes of prejudice.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Health Psychology
                Hogrefe Publishing
                February 5, 2019
                : 25
                : 4
                : 133-139
                [ 1 ]Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale (LPS), Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France
                Author notes
                Dimitrios Lampropoulos, Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale, Aix-Marseille Université, 29 avenue Robert Schuman, 13621 Aix-en-Provence, France, dimilamprop@ 123456gmail.com
                Copyright @ 2018
                : December 8, 2017
                : November 1, 2018
                : November 5, 2018
                Funding: This work was supported by the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA).
                Original Article

                Psychology,Health & Social care,Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                schizophrenia,social dominance,intergroup relations,gender,stigma


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