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Comparing live and video-taped theatrical performance in changing stigmatizing attitudes towards people with serious mental illness

by Faigin, David A.

Abstract (Summary)
Catherine H. Stein, Advisor Social stigma can have a devastating effect on the lives of people coping with serious mental illness. Stigma can impact feelings of self-worth, and play a major role in limiting individuals’ access to community resources. The present study compared the effectiveness of live and video-taped theatrical presentations in reducing stigmatization of people living with serious mental illness. The study focused on the effect of a play written and performed by a group of actors who live with serious mental illnesses on attitudes about mental illness in a sample of 303 undergraduates. Attitudes related to tolerance and future contact with people with serious mental illness are assessed before, and after exposure to either 1) live performance 2) video-taped performance or 3) no performance in the context of a college course. The live theater and video groups also rated the affective impact of the presentations. Results indicate that the students who witnessed a live performance and the students who watched a video of the play generally reported significantly more tolerance towards those with serious mental illness compared to the control group immediately following the presentations, and one month later. The live performance group generally reported significantly higher scores of behavioral intentions compared with controls, immediately following the presentations. On average, ratings of overall positive affective impact were significantly greater for the live group compared with the video group. Implications for the development of innovative classroom interventions involving contact to reduce stigma against people living with mental illness are discussed. For Naomi iii iv
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:theater and society stigma social psychology mentally ill

ISBN:

Date of Publication:

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