Comparison of public attributions, attitudes, and stigma in regard to depression among children and adults

Brea L. Perry, Bernice A. Pescosolido, Jack K. Martin, Jane D. McLeod, Peter S. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study compared public attributions and attitudes toward adult and child depression, with a focus on problem recognition, medical and social causes, help-seeking recommendations, perceptions of violence, and the use of coercion. Methods: The investigators compared data from two special modules of the 1996 and 2002 nationally representative General Social Survey on public response to mental illness. Respondents answered questions regarding a vignette in which an adult had depression (N=193) or one in which a child had depression (N=312). Results: Respondents evaluated childhood depression as more serious than adult depression (83% versus 51%, respectively) and saw a greater potential for violence toward others among children with depression (40% for children versus 30% for adults). More respondents endorsed treatment of all types, including coerced care, for children with depression. However, significantly fewer recommended talking to family and friends about a child's mental health problem. Conclusions: Americans are more concerned about children's depression than adults' depression and reveal more prejudice regarding perceptions of dangerousness. More respondents endorsed formal care than informal care and advice. However, the heightened stigma surrounding childhood depression poses unique challenges for youths with depression and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-635
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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attribution
Depression
Violence
childhood
Dangerous Behavior
violence
Coercion
Child Care
prejudice
mental illness
Patient Care
Mental Health
mental health
Research Personnel
Surveys and Questionnaires
cause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Comparison of public attributions, attitudes, and stigma in regard to depression among children and adults. / Perry, Brea L.; Pescosolido, Bernice A.; Martin, Jack K.; McLeod, Jane D.; Jensen, Peter S.

In: Psychiatric Services, Vol. 58, No. 5, 05.2007, p. 632-635.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Perry, Brea L. ; Pescosolido, Bernice A. ; Martin, Jack K. ; McLeod, Jane D. ; Jensen, Peter S. / Comparison of public attributions, attitudes, and stigma in regard to depression among children and adults. In: Psychiatric Services. 2007 ; Vol. 58, No. 5. pp. 632-635.
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