Crazy? So what! Effects of a school project on students' attitudes towards people with schizophrenia
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2003
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 107, Issue 2, pages 142–150, February 2003
How to Cite
Schulze, B., Richter-Werling, M., Matschinger, H. and Angermeyer, M. C. (2003), Crazy? So what! Effects of a school project on students' attitudes towards people with schizophrenia. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 107: 142–150. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2003.02444.x
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2003
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2003
- Accepted for publication July 26, 2002
- health education;
Objective: Aiming at promoting young people's mental health and reducing stigma towards people with schizophrenia, project weeks were carried out with secondary school students aged 14–18 years (n=90). Key to the project week is meeting a (young) person with schizophrenia.
Method: Students' attitudes and behavioural intentions towards people with schizophrenia were assessed before and after the project. Parallelly, a control group of students were questioned (n=60). Assessment was repeated after 1 month.
Results: Despite expected ceiling effects, the project led to a significant reduction of negative stereotypes. For social distance, a positive trend could be observed. These developments were not present with the controls. Attitude changes were still evident at the 1-month follow-up.
Conclusion: Results support the hypothesis that young people's attitudes about schizophrenia are susceptible to change. Antistigma projects at school level could thus be a promising approach to improving public attitudes and to preventing stereotypes from becoming reinforced.