n African Journal of Psychiatry - Public attitudes toward mental illness in Africa and North America : original article

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



: Public attitudes toward mental illness in two widely disparate cultures, Canada and Cameroon, were compared using an experimental version of a survey instrument, the or

: 120 respondents rated items relating to mental illness on 1-9 equal appearing interval scales: 30 in English and 30 in French in both Cameroon and Canada. Additionally, 30 matched, monolingual English, American respondents were included as a comparison group.
: In Canada (and in the USA), attitudes were generally more positive and less socially stigmatizing toward mental illness than in Cameroon. Differences between countries were much larger than differences between language groups.
: Consistent with other research, beliefs and reactions of the public regarding mental illness reflect stigma, especially in Cameroon. Cultural influences on these public attitudes are more likely important than language influences. Results of this field test of the , documenting differences in public attitudes toward mental illness in two divergent cultures, support its further development

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