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This is one of a series of excerpts from older articles put online by John Ray as a public service. The articles concerned are in general otherwise available only by special request to a University or other major library.

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Psychological Reports, 1972, 31, 483-486.

Personal adjustment and authoritarian attitudes toward the mentally ill



JOHN FRACCHIA, CHARLES SHEPPARD, JOSEPH PINTYR, JAMES CROVELLO AND SIDNEY MERLIS

Research Division, Central Islip State Hospital

Summary

The relationship between authoritarian attitudes, which reflect the belief that mentally ill persons comprise an inferior class requiring coercive handling, and personal adjustment was examined for 77 female psychiatric aides at a large state mental hospital. Correlations and analysis of variance suggested the lack of a systematic association between the two variables.


A study by Lieberman (1970) suggests that both being more tolerant of the mentally ill and being better informed about mental illness are negatively related to personal adjustment. That is, the most tolerant (least authoritarian) and best-informed individuals in a sample of college students had the most deviant MMPI profile patterns.

.... The present study examines the relationship between personal adjustment as measured by responses on the Emotions Profile Index (EPI; Kellerman & Plutchik, 1966) and authoritarian attitudes toward the mentally ill as assessed by the A factor scale. of the Opinions About Mental Illness Scale (OMI; Cohen & Struening, 1963) in a group of female psychiatric attendants.

METHOD

The EPI and a modified form of the Opinion scale were administered to 77 female psychiatric attendants staffing a number of female continued treatment services at a large state mental hospital. The average age of the sample was 45 (SD = 12 yr.). Ss had completed on the average 11 yr. of school (SD - 1.5 yr. ) and been employed by the hospital for 15 yr. (SD = 10 yr.).




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