Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Cooper

Second Advisor

Dr. Joan Uhley

Third Advisor

Dr. Shirley Lukens

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Thirty-nine undergraduate occupational therapy and fifty-seven entry-level graduate occupational therapy students from eight randomly selected academic programs were surveyed using the Opinions About Mental Illness Scales ([OMI], Cohen and Struening, 1959) and the Mental Health Information Questionnaire ([MHIQ], Nunnally, 1961). Results revealed that both student groups’ knowledge toward the mentally disabled was more similar to the general public’s knowledge. Using a one-tailed t-test to compare the MHIQ factors revealed there was no statistically significant difference between the occupational therapy student groups.

Both student groups’ OMI factor scores were similar to an expert group for Factors A B, and D; however, both student groups endorsed Factors C and E. A one-tailed t-test compared the OMI factors between student groups revealing graduate students endorsed Factor D (t = 2.67, p < .5). There were no statistically significant differences for Factors A, B, C, and E.