Mental Health, Stigma, and Millennials

Richard Dillan Whitley


The present research investigated whether stigma against people with a mental health disorder continues to exist in the Millennial-aged population. Although there has been an increased awareness of mental illnesses today, we predicted that college students would continue to stigmatize people with mental health disorders. Participants were randomly assigned to view photos of individuals paired with a label describing a mental disorder, or view the same individuals without the labels. Participants then completed a stigma questionnaire to measure their perceptions of the individuals. Consistent with our prediction, results indicated that those who viewed the pictures with the labels indicated greater stigma than those who viewed the pictures without the labels. Our findings suggest that stigma of individuals with mental health disorders still exists in the Millennial population. Future studies should measure stigma of specific mental disorders to explore how perceptions might differ.

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