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

  • Rosemarie Kobau
  • Colleen DiIorio
  • Daniel Chapman
  • Paolo Delvecchio
  • SAMHSA/CDC Mental Illness Stigma Panel Members
Original Paper


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 illness Stigma Attitudes Factor analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemarie Kobau
    • 1
  • Colleen DiIorio
    • 2
  • Daniel Chapman
    • 1
  • Paolo Delvecchio
    • 3
  • SAMHSA/CDC Mental Illness Stigma Panel Members
  1. 1.Division of Adult and Community HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral SciencesEmory University Rollins School of Public HealthAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationCenter for Mental Health ServicesRockvilleUSA

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