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Stigma among Singaporean youth: a cross-sectional study on adolescent attitudes towards serious mental illness and social tolerance in a multiethnic population

Original post: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/7/10/e016432?rss=1

Objectives

Stigma against mental illnesses is one of the significant obstacles faced by mental health service users and providers. It can develop at a young age and is also influenced by culture. Youths in Southeast Asian countries are under-represented in mental health research, thus this study aims to explore the dimensions of stigma and social tolerance and examine its correlates in the younger, multiethnic population of Singapore.

Design

An online survey collected data with sociodemographic questions, the Attitudes Towards Serious Mental Illness (Adolescent version) Scale, Social Tolerance Scale and an open-text question on words or phrases participants associated with the term ‘mental illness’. Principal component analysis and multiple regression models were conducted to investigate the factor structure of the attitudes and social tolerance scales and their sociodemographic correlates.

Participants

Participants included 940 youths aged 14–18 years old who were residing in Singapore at the time of the survey and were recruited through local schools.

Results

About a quarter of the students (22.6%) reported participating in mental heal

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