UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Biogenetic models of psychopathology, implicit guilt, and mental illness stigma


Rüsch, N; Todd, A R; Bodenhausen, G V; Corrigan, P W (2010). Biogenetic models of psychopathology, implicit guilt, and mental illness stigma. Psychiatry Research, 179(3):328-332.

Abstract

Whereas some research suggests that acknowledgment of the role of biogenetic factors in mental illness could reduce mental illness stigma by diminishing perceived responsibility, other research has cautioned that emphasizing biogenetic aspects of mental illness could produce the impression that mental illness is a stable, intrinsic aspect of a person ("genetic essentialism"), increasing the desire for social distance. We assessed genetic and neurobiological causal attributions about mental illness among 85 people with serious mental illness and 50 members of the public. The perceived responsibility of persons with mental illness for their condition, as well as fear and social distance, was assessed by self-report. Automatic associations between Mental Illness and Guilt and between Self and Guilt were measured by the Brief Implicit Association Test. Among the general public, endorsement of biogenetic models was associated with not only less perceived responsibility, but also greater social distance. Among people with mental illness, endorsement of genetic models had only negative correlates: greater explicit fear and stronger implicit self-guilt associations. Genetic models may have unexpected negative consequences for implicit self-concept and explicit attitudes of people with serious mental illness. An exclusive focus on genetic models may therefore be problematic for clinical practice and anti-stigma initiatives.

Whereas some research suggests that acknowledgment of the role of biogenetic factors in mental illness could reduce mental illness stigma by diminishing perceived responsibility, other research has cautioned that emphasizing biogenetic aspects of mental illness could produce the impression that mental illness is a stable, intrinsic aspect of a person ("genetic essentialism"), increasing the desire for social distance. We assessed genetic and neurobiological causal attributions about mental illness among 85 people with serious mental illness and 50 members of the public. The perceived responsibility of persons with mental illness for their condition, as well as fear and social distance, was assessed by self-report. Automatic associations between Mental Illness and Guilt and between Self and Guilt were measured by the Brief Implicit Association Test. Among the general public, endorsement of biogenetic models was associated with not only less perceived responsibility, but also greater social distance. Among people with mental illness, endorsement of genetic models had only negative correlates: greater explicit fear and stronger implicit self-guilt associations. Genetic models may have unexpected negative consequences for implicit self-concept and explicit attitudes of people with serious mental illness. An exclusive focus on genetic models may therefore be problematic for clinical practice and anti-stigma initiatives.

Citations

45 citations in Web of Science®
47 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 31 Jan 2011
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:31 Jan 2011 15:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-1781
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2009.09.010
PubMed ID:20493559
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-43620

Download

[img]
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 201kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations