Monday, September 1, 2008

Americans Show Little Tolerance For Mental Illness Despite Growing Belief In Genetic Cause

The Core Barrier we face is Stigma...

Full article

A new study by University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Jason
Schnittker shows that, while more Americans believe that mental illness
has genetic causes, the nation is no more tolerant of the mentally ill
than it was 10 years ago.

The study published online in the journal
Social Science

and Medicine uses a 2006 replication of the 1996 General Social Survey
Mental Health Module to explore trends in public beliefs about mental
illness in America, focusing in particular on public support for
genetic arguments.

Prior medical-sociology studies reveal that public beliefs
about mental illness reflect the dominant mental-illness treatment, the
changing nature of media portrayals of the mentally ill and the
prevailing wisdom of science and medicine.

Schnittker's study, "An Uncertain Revolution: Why the Rise of
a Genetic Model of Mental Illness Has Not Increased Tolerance,"
attempts to address why tolerance of the mentally ill hasn't increased
along with the rising popularity of a biomedical view of its causes.
His study finds that different genetic arguments have, in fact, become
more popular but have very different associations depending on the
mental illness being considered.

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