Background: Stigma of mental illness is
often related to attitude studies in social science research, cross-cultural psychology
and education in social behaviour. Majority of these studies used opinion on
mental illness to examine attitudes. Method: A cross-sectional survey was
presented to 208 registered nurses in Australia. Principal component analyses
(with oblique rotation) were used to identify underlying dimensionality in the
correlations of items for negative stereotyping attitudes. Subscale score
variations were analysed across nurse type and ethnicity to examine the
discriminant validity of the subscales. Results: Principal component analysis
(PCA) revealed one dimension accounting for 50.5% of the variations within
items for negative stereotyping. Developed as scale, labelled as “Dislike
Attributed to Mental Illness (DISL)”, reliability analysis indicated high
internal consistency with alpha coefficient of .93. Chinese general nurses
scored highest on the DISL scale than the other three groups: Chinese
psychiatric nurses, Anglo general and Anglo psychiatric nurses. Conclusion:
Psychometric evaluation of the Dislike Attributed to Mental Illness (DISL)
indicates that it is a reliable scale for measuring negative stereotyping
attitudes towards mental illness. The main statistical significance was due to
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