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US Attitudes Toward Mental Illnesses

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In the first question we read and talked about the difficulty of finding a legitimate basis for labeling the behavior of others as "abnormal" We also pointed out in lecture that this process bears a significant ethical burden as well. There can be a lot of stigma, prejudice, loss of self esteem and real harm directed toward a person who is labeled as "having a mental illness"


Please discuss for this question about U.S. attitudes toward mental illness as it relates to the different etiological models of pathology. Please discuss the following issue:

In your experience how is mental illness seen in today's American Culture. How do the various models of etiology affect these attitudes? Do people generally more or less understand and accept people with problems if they believe mental illness comes from problems in a person's biology, thinking, past learning experiences or current/past cultural settings?

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In my experience, mental illness is often seen as an illness that is often ridiculed, and not treated in the same manner as other illnesses by the general public. People don't seem to understand that the brain can be affected by illness, just as readily as the body can, and individuals that suffer from mental illnesses should not be stigmatized or made fun of, as is often the case in today's ...

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Attitudes toward Serious Mental Illness (SMI)

For this question you will need access to Irene Covarrubias and Meekyung Han's study entitled Mental Health Stigma about Serious Mental Illness among MSW Students: Social Contact and Attitude.

Describe the population of either people in which the study is interested. Briefly describe the characteristics of this sample, including (A) demographics, (B) inclusion criteria if any; (C) exclusion criteria if any. Describe how the authors selected the sample. Include the steps they took to recruit participants. Did they provide enough detail so that someone else would be able to follow the "recipe" to recreate their study? Did the authors provide a rationale for their sampling decisions?

What was the expected sample size needed? Did the authors provide citations (primary sources) to support the sample size decision, (e.g., a power analysis, articles indicating effect size of scales, or citations justifying their qualitative sample size). Did they get the sample they expected? Did they have to revise their sampling plans? Why? How?

Describe the site(s) or source from which the authors drew their sample.

Who did the authors have to get permission from to use their site or source? Does the site have a separate IRB? What did the authors do to obtain permission to access the population or data source?

How were the potential participants first contacted? Were participants contacted following the study?

Describe the exact procedure that was used to carry out the study. This is a step-by-step description of exactly how the research was conducted. Where, when, how, did they collect their data? This should read like a recipe for conducting the study. Did the authors include all the necessary details so that someone else would be able to follow the steps and be able to replicate the study? If not, what was missing?

Describe analysis procedures for each distinct data type: specific statistical analysis for quantitative studies; audiotapes, transcripts, video tape, field notes, photos, etc. for qualitative studies; or describe a combination of procedures for a mixed methods design.

Describe all methods and procedures for data analysis including: (a) types of data analyzed, (b) how the authors organized raw data, managed, and processed data, (c) how they prepared data for analysis, and (d) how they stored and protected their data. If they did not describe these things, what should be listed?

For each research question or sub-question, detail the actual data analyses that were conducted to answer each specific question or how the authors tested each hypothesis.

Describe any ethical considerations given the sample population and/or topic. Did the authors protect human participants while identifying the sample, while collecting the data, while analyzing the data, after data were collected, when they stored their data? If they did not describe these things, what should they have talked about in this section?

Is the study more than minimal risk? Does the study examine a vulnerable population? Can it be more than minimal risk if the population is not vulnerable? What special steps did the authors take to protect their participants? Refer to the Capella research website for more information about minimal risk and vulnerable populations. If these authors had to go through the Capella IRB, would this study be considered more than minimal risk or using a vulnerable population?

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