Commenced in January 2007
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The Stigma of Mental Illness and the Way of Destigmatization: The Effects of Interactivity and Self-Construal

Authors: Doori Song, Hyun-Ji Lim, Yoo Jin Chung

Abstract:

Some believe that stigma is the worst side effect of the people who have mental illness. Mental illness researchers have focused on the influence of mass media on the stigmatization of the people with mental illness. However, no studies have investigated the effects of the interactive media, such as blogs, on the stigmatization of mentally ill people, even though the media have a significant influence on people in all areas of life. The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of interactivity in destigmatization of the mentally ill and the moderating effect of self-construal (independent versus interdependent self-construal) on the relation between interactivity and destigmatization. The findings suggested that people in the human-human interaction condition had less social distance toward people with mental illness. Additionally, participants with higher independence showed more favorable affection and less social distance toward mentally ill people. Finally, direct contact with mentally ill people increased a person-s positive affect toward people with mental illness. The current study should provide insights for mental health practitioners by suggesting how they can use interactive media to approach the public that stigmatizes the mentally ill.

Keywords: Mental Health, interactivity, destigmatization, selfconstrual

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1061300

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