Using implicit measures to evaluate mental health stigma and attitudes to help-seeking

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Title: Using implicit measures to evaluate mental health stigma and attitudes to help-seeking
Authors: Hennessy, Eilis
Heary, Caroline
McKeague, Lynn
Murphy, Donnchadh
O'Driscoll, Claire
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Date: Dec-2013
Abstract: Aims: The paper introduces and describes the use of implicit measures of attitude in two separate studies.  The aim of the first study was to explore children's and adolescents' (10 to 16 years) stigmatizing responses towards hypothetical peers with either ADHD or depression.  The aim of the second was to investigate whether a brief on-line intervention could change young adults' (18 to 25 years) attitudes towards help-seeking for mental health problems. Methods: Implicit measures, such as the Implicit Associations Test (IAT) do not require research participants to overtly express their beliefs.  They are used where there is a high risk that research participants will offer socially desirable responses about stereotypes and prejudices. In the first study, an adapted IAT, in conjunction with questionnaires, was used to measure attitudes towards a vignette describing a peer who had ADHD or depression.  In the second study, the Single Category IAT was used to measure young adults' attitudes towards professional help-seeking for mental health problems. Results: The findings showed that young people were more stigmatising towards peers with mental health problems and treatment seeking on implicit compared to explicit measures. The patterns of responses between the measures highlights the value of using implicit measures to enhance our understanding of such phenomena.  Conclusions: Implicit measures may prove to be a useful tool for researchers who are interested in stigma associated with mental health problems in young people and their treatment.  Lessons learned from the use of implicit measures in these studies will be highlighted.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Copyright (published version): 2013 the author
Keywords: Mental healthCH-IATST-IATStigmaHelp-seekingImplicit measures
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing: Impact on outcomes for children and young people, Dublin, Ireland, 10 December, 2013
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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