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Effects of Perceived Religiosity on Judgments of Social Competence Toward Individuals With Mental Illness
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by Ke Fang, Meredith Henry, Holli Sconyers and Jackie Goldstein, faculty supervisor - Samford University
This study examined mental illness stigma and its relationships to 1) type of mental disorder and 2) the social involvement of those with mental illness. Fifty college subjects were asked to read vignettes describing a character who had either schizophrenia or depression, and who was depicted as either active in their church, active in the community, or whose activities were not mentioned. Perceptions of the characters’ social competence were measured using a Judgment of Social Competence Questionnaire. Results demonstrated a significant effect for type of social involvement on judgment of social competence, but no such effect for type of mental disorder. Due to the occurrence of the Virginia Tech Massacre in the middle of the study, the effect of this event on stigmatizing attitudes was also examined.