ABSTRACT Negative maternal attitudes toward schizophrenia may be linked with delayed treatment of their children. We investigated the relation between negative attitudes toward schizophrenia and help-seeking among mothers of junior and senior high school students in Japan. The participants were 1309 Japanese mothers of junior and senior high school students. Social distance was evaluated by using the Social Distance Scale-Japanese version (SDS-J). In addition, mothers were asked about help-seeking for a child with sleeplessness, social withdrawal, and strange behavior. One-way analysis of variance and Student’s t-test were used to evaluate associations between social distance toward schizophrenia and help-seeking. Most (76.4%) participants were aged 40 - 49 years. Maternal demographic characteristics significantly associated with social distance were employment and participation in welfare activities for people with mental illness. In responding to a child with sleeplessness, social withdrawal, and strange behavior, the level of maternal social distance was not significantly associated with the likelyhood of seeking psychiatric help. However, mothers with greater social distance were less likely to seek help at a psychiatric clinic. Maternal social distance toward schizophrenia was not significantly associated with seeking psychiatric help; however, it did affect the type of facility selected among those would seek such help.
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Yoshii, H. , Watanabe, Y. , Kitamura, H. , Mazumder, A. and Akazawa, K. (2012) Association of social distance toward schizophrenia with help-seeking among mothers of adolescents in Japan. Health, 4, 1346-1351. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.412196.
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