Behavioral determinants of mental illness concerns: a comparison of community subcultures.
A stratified sample (race, sex, and social class) of 469 laymen from two North Carolina communities responded to a 190-item MMPI-based questionnaire with the degree of mental illness concern evoked by each item. The results reflected systematic race and social class differences in the behavioral bases for mental illness attributions--differences not explainable by overall differences in toleration for deviance. Although laymen had roughly similar rank orderings for the 13 homogeneous clusters of items, blacks indicated greater concern over breakdowns in social orientation than whites, while the opposite pattern held for traditionally defined psychopathy (internal distresses). Upper-class concerns were, comparatively, with cognitive dysfunction, middle-class with moral and social responsibility, and lower-class with social inadequacies.
Coie, JD; Costanzo, PR; Cox, GB
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