Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this study was to compare community mental health attitudes of the past and the present, and between mental health workers and the public. The results indicate that the public is better informed and more favorably disposed toward the mentally ill today than was true several decades ago. Some stereotypes persist, however, and the mentally ill are still regarded less favorably than are other disability groups. Mental health workers and the public appear to be similar in their endorsement of a medical approach to treatment, although the former endorse more strongly a community-based treatment orientation. There was no relationship found between the acceptance of a psychosocial rather than a medical model and the expression of helplessness or dependency in dealing with mental health problems. A demythologizing approach to changing attitudes toward a more psychosocial orientation did not prove to be effective.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access