Social distance in Lithuanian psychology and social work students and professionals

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
Social distance in Lithuanian psychology and social work students and professionals
In the Journal:
Žmonės, sergantys psichinėmis ligomis; Psichologai; Socialiniai darbuotojai; Profesinė patirtis
People with mental illness; Psychologists; Social workers; Professional experience
Summary / Abstract:

ENPurpose: This cross-sectional study aimed to compare desire for social distance from people with mental illness in the disciplines of social work and psychology, and among students and professionals having different professional experience. Methods: 948 respondents (715 students and 233 professionals) from Lithuanian educational and mental health-care institutions participated in an anonymous survey. Social distance was measured using Lithuanian Social Distance Scale which was created for this study. Participants also answered questions about familiarity with mental illness. Bias of social desirability was measured using the balanced inventory of desirable responding. Results: Series of ANCOVA analysis revealed that psychology and social work master's and PhD students reported less social distance from people with mental illness when compared with bachelor's students. Familiarity with mental illness was significantly related to less social distance in the student sample, but not in professionals' sample. The strongest desire for social distance in the professionals' sample was observed in social workers having less than 5 years of professional practice and most experienced psychologists with more than 10 years of professional practice. Conclusions: Social distance from people with mental illness decreases through the study years; however, results of professional psychologists and social workers illustrate different trajectories in social distance through the professional career. The results of this study support the need for anti-stigma programmes and initiatives orientated towards mental health professionals. [From the publication]

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2020-01-21 15:33:17
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