Social distance towards people with HIV-AIDS versus mental illness in a sample of adolescent secondary school students in Lagos Nigeria.

Social distance towards people with HIV-AIDS versus mental illness in a sample of adolescent secondary school students in Lagos Nigeria.

Author by Dr. Increase Adeosun

Journal/Publisher: Journal Of Education, Society And Behavioural Science, 22(3):1-7,

Volume/Edition: 22

Language: English

Pages: 1 - 7

Abstract

Introduction: Stigma is a major barrier to help seeking among adolescents with mental disorders.

HIV-AIDS is also a highly stigmatised chronic disorder among youths. In contrast with HIV-AIDS,

there is scarcity of large scale interventions targeted at reducing mental illness related stigma in

Nigeria.

Aim: This study determined the social distance of a sample of secondary school students in Nigeria

towards individuals with mental illness, as compared with those with HIV-AIDS.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design, adolescent secondary school students (n=170) in

Lagos, Nigeria completed the modified Borgadus Social distance Scale by self-report. Data was

analysed with SPSS 16.

Results: About seven out of ten (71.8%) and 20.6% of the participants would be afraid to have a

conversation with someone who has mental illness and HIV-AIDS respectively (p<0>

Participants were also more likely to be upset about being in the same classroom, sharing a

bedroom or maintaining friendship with individuals affected by mental illness than HIV-AIDS

(p<0>

Conclusion: The findings suggest that secondary school students in Nigeria desire a higher level of

social distance from individuals with mental illness than those with HIV-AIDS. Interventions targeted

at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness among school children require priority

attention


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