MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY, STIGMA, SHAME AND SELF CRITICISM: A STUDY AMONG YOUNG ADULTS
International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology Revista INFAD de psicología
Abstract:Mental health literacy (MHL) and mental illness stigma (MIS) represent new horizons of study and intervention, particularly important, for both communities and clinical settings (European Commission & Portuguese Ministry of Health, 2010). In this paper we aimed to: a) describe a clinical sample (CS) and non clinical group (NCG) in aspects related to family history of psychopathology, contact with mental illness and "learning about mental illness"; b) differentiate groups in terms of
... oups in terms of MHL, shame and self criticism; c) test associations between MHL with shame and self criticism; and, in the clinical sample, d) test the relationship between self stigma, shame and self criticism; e) explore the predictor role of other's support in self stigma. To do so we collected data from a sample of 187 young adults, including CS and NCG, using: a Sociobiographic Questionnaire; Opinions about Mental Illness (Cohen & Struening, 1962); Other as Shamer Scale (Goss, Gilbert & Allan, 1994); Internalized Shame Scale (Cook, 1994); and Forms of Self Criticizing and Self Reassuring Scale (Gilbert, Clarke, Hempel, Miles, & Irons, 2004). Our results show that: most of the subjects learned what is mental illness at school; CS know more people that has or had mental illness than NCG; there are no differences on MHL within samples; shame and self criticism are higher in the CS and correlate with self stigma; others support predict self-stigma. Several research and clinical implications are presented.Keywords: mental health literacy, shame, self criticism, clinical sample, community sample, young-adults.