ERIC Number: ED197240
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar-28
Reference Count: 0
Attitudes Toward Mental Illness Among Mental Health Volunteers.
Wahl, Otto F.; And Others
Many research efforts have demonstrated relationships between the experience of mental health volunteers and their attitudes toward mental illness. Questionnaire surveys were completed by adult volunteers in psychiatric and nonpsychiatric programs in order to assess general attitudes toward mental patients and to control for the potential effects of volunteerism on the attitudes of mental health volunteers. Results indicated that adult mental health volunteers in psychiatric programs had more positive attitudes toward mental illness than volunteers in nonpsychiatric programs. These results are consistent with the findings of studies with college students, suggesting that those who volunteer to work with psychiatric patients perceive the mentally ill to be "childlike unfortunates" who should be treated with a minimum of restrictive measures. Such positive attitudes do not appear to be artifacts of volunteerism, nor are they exclusive to college student volunteers. Thus, the widely held belief that mental health attitudes and mental health volunteerism are closely related is given empirical support. (Author/CS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (26th, Washington, DC, March 26-29, 1980).