Social rejection of the mentally ill: A replication study of public attitude

  • Barry Trute
  • Bruce Tefft
  • Alexander Segall


A replication survey of public attitudes toward the mentally ill was completed after a decade had elapsed which employed similar measures across the same urban area. Prior research evidence was empirically corroborated which indicated that attitude toward the mentally ill is not a uni-dimensional phenomenon, but is tied to differing social contexts. It does appear that a distinction can be made between attitudes in regard to social relations (personal contact) and social responsibility (impersonal contact). It was found that rejection of the mentally ill in situations of social relations was linked to prior personal experience with mental illness, perceived dangerousness of the mentally ill, and age of the survey respondent. Rejection of the mentally ill in circumstances involving social responsibility contracts (employment, housing, community affairs) was found to be largely tied to education of respondent. No significant differences were found in levels of public rejection of the mentally ill over the comparison ten year period.


Public Health Urban Area Mental Illness Social Responsibility Similar Measure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Trute
    • 1
  • Bruce Tefft
    • 2
  • Alexander Segall
    • 3
  1. 1.The University of Manitoba School of Social WorkWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Department of SociologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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