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The Adaptation, Preliminary Validation and Application of two existing measures of stigma towards Schizophrenia

Chisholm, Laura (2010) The Adaptation, Preliminary Validation and Application of two existing measures of stigma towards Schizophrenia. University of Aberystwyth.

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Abstract

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterised by a range of cognitive and emotional dysfunctions disrupting normal life, and with an unknown aetiology that limits treatment options. There are also numerous stereotypes surrounding Schizophrenia that further complicate the lives of sufferers and their families. In two studies, this investigation seeks to first, create a new accessible attitude scale by combining two pre-existing scales, that measure mental illness and adapting it for the specific use of schizophrenia and second, utilize the scale in assessing the effects the media have in influencing individuals’ attitudes about phenomena that they know little about. Results of Study 1 revealed that combining and optimising the two scales scale provided a new shorter scale of schizophrenia that was internally consistent and reliable. Study 2 however did not produce any significant differences between the media and individuals’ attitudes towards Schizophrenia, and thus the null hypothesis was accepted. Future studies will need to further validate the new measurement scale (The Schizophrenia Specific Attitude Scale) using factor and confirmatory analysis to examine the construct validity. Further studies examining the effects of media could focus on different types of media used to portray Schizophrenia.

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