This investigation used an anonymous mail survey to compare the attitudes
toward the mentally ill held by randomly selected clinical psychologists trained
in either traditional (Boulder) or professional (Vail) programs. Clinicians'
ratings of themselves, the public, Mitchell And Ness Emmitt Smith Jersey and three clinical
groups of varying illness severity were obtained using bipolar adjective scales
that represented either diagnostic or attributional dimensions. The Attitudes
Toward People With Psychological Problems ScaleExplicit (APPPSE) assessed the
attitudes of respondents toward individuals with neurotic illnesses.
Additionally, respondents' psychosocial versus medical conceptualizations of the
etiology and treatment of mental illness were assessed by the Mental Health
Questionnaire (MHQ). Vail compared to Boulder clinicians were expected to rate
mentally ill targets more favorably due to the sense of competence instilled by
the professional model's emphasis on clinical skill development. Both groups
were expected to show a psychosocial rather than medical model orientation
although the Vail group was expected to be more psychosocial than the Boulder
group. The results indicated that both groups displayed relatively favorable and
similar attitudes toward individuals suffering from neurotic illnesses as
measured by the APPPSE. However, the bipolar adjective ratings indicated that
the Vail clinicians rated the three clinical Larry Allen Jersey groups more positively than the Boulder
clinicians across the two adjective categories. This effect was mediated by a
sense of clinical competence only in regard to the diagnostic adjective ratings.
The MHQ indicated that the two groups closely resembled each other in terms of
adopting a psychosocial conceptualization of mental illness. Further, when
respondents were examined as a group, the results indicated that the nature of
the target had a significant effect on ratings depending upon which dimension,
diagnostic or attributional, was used. Also, differences between clinicians'
selfratings and their ratings of other targets increased significantly in a less
positive direction as illness severity increased. Although the Vail participants
showed signs of possessing more favorable attitudes than the Boulder
participants, it was proposed that ambivalence, selfenhancement, and distancing
may be important features operating in the attitudes toward the mentally ill
held by clinical psychologists as a whole.
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