‘Individualism-Collectivism’ as an Explanatory Device for Mental Illness Stigma
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The aim of this study is investigate whether the cross-cultural value paradigm ‘individualism-collectivism’ is a useful explanatory model for mental illness stigma on a cultural level. Using snowball sampling, a quantitative questionnaire survey of 305 individuals from four UK-based cultural groups (white-English, American, Greek/Greek Cypriot, and Chinese) was carried out. The questionnaire included the ‘Community Attitudes to Mental Illness scale’ and the ‘vertical-horizontal individualism-collectivism scale’. The results revealed that the more stigmatizing a culture’s mental illness attitudes are, the more likely collectivism effectively explains these attitudes. In contrast, the more positive a culture’s mental illness attitudes, the more likely individualism effectively explains attitudes. We conclude that a consideration of the individualism-collectivism paradigm should be included in any future research aiming to provide a holistic understanding of the causes of mental illness stigma, particularly when the cultures stigmatization levels are particularly high or low.
KeywordsStigma Mental illness Attitudes Individualism Collectivism Culture
Conflict of interest
There are no known conflicts of interest. All authors in this study certify their responsibility for the conduct of this study, the analysis and interpretation of data, that they have helped write this manuscript, agree with decisions about it, that they meet the definition of an author as stated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and that they have seen and approved the final manuscript. The authors also certify that neither the article nor any essential part of it, including figures and tables, will be published or submitted elsewhere before appearing in the Journal.
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