Class Year

2020

Date

4-16-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Psychology

First Advisor

R. Sergio Guglielmi

Second Advisor

Nancy Brekke

Third Advisor

Catherine Benton

Abstract

Mental health stigma exists in a wide variety of contexts, including politics. This study aimed to determine whether political conservatives stigmatized mental illness more than political liberals. To address this issue, I analyzed data from the General Social Survey (GSS), which surveyed thousands of participants throughout the U.S. on many topics, including mental health attitudes. I hypothesized that political conservatives would express more negative attitudes toward people with mental illness compared to liberals. I found that political ideology did predict stigmatization of people with mental illness overall, but not when separate analyses were conducted for specific mental disorders. An important implication of these findings is that that political conservatives who endorse discrimination of people with mental illness may themselves avoid seeking help for psychological problems.

Language

English


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