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To enable the study of attitudes as one basis for the maintenance of chronic illness, a scale of patient attitudes toward chronic respiratory illness and hospitalization was developed. Key cluster analysis was performed on a large set of statements which had been rated by patients hospitalized for chronic asthma in a residential treatment setting. The analyses identified six attitudinal clusters: Optimism, Negative Staff Regard, Specific Internal Awareness, External Control, Psychological Stigma, and Authoritarian Attitudes toward Illness and Hospitalization. The clusters showed good internal consistency, reliability, and generality. The low to moderate inter-relationships among clusters suggest the existence of identifiable patterns of attitudes which may be related to differences in coping styles to chronic illness.