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Research Review: Attitudes on Mental Health

Using the attached article, include a list of names of the variables or constructs from the article. Also include a brief definition of these variables or constructs. Did the author use specific scales or interview formats that have already been used in other studies? If so, list the scale or instrument used to measure each variable. If you are reviewing a qualitative study, did the author describe the way they coded their data? If so, include the coding description in your post. Explain how the variables or constructs measured in the article link back to the author's theoretical framework. Describe how the study design was best suited to answering the research questions. Identify the key (A) theoretical, (B) topical, and (C) methodological assumptions of the study. Do the authors provide citations to support their adoption? If so, list them here.
Evaluate the weaknesses of the study. Indicate areas that were improved before the start of the study and areas that cannot be improved. Give reasons for not redesigning to address any of the limitations identified.


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Article Review: Variables & Assumptions

• Authors: Covarubbias, I. & Han, M.
• Title: Mental Health Stigma about Serious Mental Illness among MSW Students - Social Contact and Attitude
• Particulars: from the journal Social Work, Oct. 2011, Vol. 56, No. 4.

Summary & Theory

The authors embarked on a limited study of the attitudes and contacts of a group of people familiar or have become expert in social work. What is measured is the attitude and social contact these group of people have on Serious Mental Illness (SMI) as a concept, as an observable and real issue that they have to deal with in their work. The group studied are Master of Social Work (MSW) students from an undisclosed public university in North-western US. Essentially, their aim was to, 'study the attitudes and beliefs about serious mental illness' as they hypothesized that stigmatization of SMI, given its detrimental effects, "is an important issue for the social work field to examine." They had 4 working hypotheses as follows:

1. Social contact within intimate relationships would be associated with less desire for social distance and restrictions;
2. Adherence to stereotypes of dangerousness would be associated with higher measures;
3. Belief in recovery would be associated with less desire for social distance and restrictions;
4. Participants with professional training on SMI would have significantly lower levels of stigma.

Variables and Constructs

The method utilized by the authors is a combined approach of a survey and a cross-sectional design. Sampled from a population of 71 MSW students in the 2007 program, because of the particularity of the study the authors used convenience and snowball sampling. The dependent variable, which the authors deemed to be negative stigma was measured using 2 constructs - restrictions and social distance. With the question being answered on a scalar basis (with scoring much like in the Likert Scales), high scores indicated opinions about the need for more restrictions on SMI affected people ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of doing a review of a scientific study that looks into variables used, assumptions and constructs used, among others. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. The original study under review is also attached.