Adolescent Attitudes Toward Serious Mental Illness

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While there is a growing literature on mental illness stigma and strategies for reducing stigma among adults, less is known about how children and adolescents view persons with mental illness. In this paper, we describe the Attitudes Toward Serious Mental Illness Scale–Adolescent Version (ATSMI-AV) and our initial examinations of its factor structure and variations among subgroups of adolescents. Findings suggest that strategies aimed at reducing stigma in this age group would be wise to specifically target categorical thinking about mental health and mental illness and perceptions of persons with mental illness being violent and out of control.

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