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Keywords:

  • Public attitudes;
  • schizophrenia;
  • stigma;
  • social distance

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of the relationship between public causal beliefs and social distance from people with schizophrenia.

Regression analysis of the results of a vignette-based opinion survey was conducted on a representative population sample in Erzincan (n = 856).

The findings of this study suggest that there is a positive relationship between biological causal beliefs (i.e. ‘brain and disease’ and ‘heredity’) and social distance from people with schizophrenia.

It would be premature to draw conclusions with regard to interventions aimed at reducing discrimination based on stigma. However, our study provides stimulus for reconsidering the assumptions underlying biological concepts among the public, which might not contribute to a desired reduction in social distance from people with schizophrenia.