An Examination of the Impact of a Biological Anti-Stigma Message for Depression on College Students

Laura A. Boucher, Duncan G. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stigma is one reason that some people avoid seeking mental health treatment. This study tested whether a biologically based anti-stigma message affected various stigma-related outcomes in college students. One hundred eighty-two undergraduate participants were randomly assigned to see a billboard presenting the message, "Depression is a brain disease," or a control message. Dependent variables included positive and negative affect, message appeal, stigma, and willingness to seek treatment. The biologically based anti-stigma message increased participants' affect, was rated as relatively unappealing, and failed to reduce stigma or increase willingness to seek treatment. These preliminary findings raise concern about continued use of similar messages in college populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of College Student Psychotherapy
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • biomedical model
  • depression
  • stigma

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