Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 164–176

Attitudes About Mental Illness and its Treatment: Validation of a Generic Scale for Public Health Surveillance of Mental Illness Associated Stigma


    • Division of Adult and Community HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Colleen DiIorio
    • Department of Behavioral SciencesEmory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • Daniel Chapman
    • Division of Adult and Community HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Paolo Delvecchio
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationCenter for Mental Health Services
  • SAMHSA/CDC Mental Illness Stigma Panel Members
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10597-009-9191-x

Cite this article as:
Kobau, R., DiIorio, C., Chapman, D. et al. Community Ment Health J (2010) 46: 164. doi:10.1007/s10597-009-9191-x


The purpose of this study was to test a brief instrument to monitor the U.S. public’s attitudes about mental illness. A SAMHSA and CDC-led panel reached consensus through an iterative process to identify generic, multidimensional measures to test using a representative sample of 5,251 adults. Exploratory factor analysis revealed two subscales (Negative Stereotypes [α = 0.66]; Recovery and Outcomes [α = 0.69]). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the convergent validity of the two subscales. Subscale scores differed by sex, race/ethnicity, and experience with mental illness. Inclusion of these brief subscales on existing population-based surveys can help states and others track attitudes about mental illness.


Mental illnessStigmaAttitudesFactor analysis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009