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Abstract

This research examines the role of aspirations for cooperative relations between people with mental disorders and other community members in influencing commitment to stigma-reducing practices and promoting positive social change. Two studies demonstrated that a measure of aspirations for a cooperative community is distinct from social and community identification measures and strongly predicts positive beliefs and behavioral intentions. Findings support the proposal that these aspirations reflect a shared ideology for members of an opinion-based group that support mental health advocacy. The findings provide evidence that the aspirations construct adds to knowledge about collective identities and offers a useful tool for designing stigma reduction and social-change strategies for the benefit of people with mental disorders.