Faculty Articles

Students’ Attitudes toward Working with Individuals Who Suffer From Serious and Persistent Mental Illness

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A survey was conducted to examine the attitudes of students toward working with individuals who suffer from serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Nine hundred and fifty-four students working toward a degree within the behavioral sciences were administered a demographic and experience questionnaire, as well as an experimenter designed attitude instrument. We believed that students with greater levels of education and increased professional contact with SPMI would result in less favorable attitudes or desire to work with this population. Contrary to previous research, findings from this study indicated that students with greater amounts of professional contact and increased training with SPMI, and higher levels of education, resulted in more positive opinions and a greater willingness to work with the population

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