Yay! Brandon and I now have access to the famous survey we’ve been talking all about! So this is the first national survey pertaining to the public knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. 1,000 adults were tested through a research group and answered 21 questions. These questions explored the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards the given disorders.
We thought it would be beneficial to bring this survey to Westtown. It is important, as researchers of bipolar disorder, to understand how informed our school is on bipolar disorder. I hope that I can inform my peers and community about my research of bipolar disorder, so they can then have a more rounded knowledge of the disorder. We hope that we can have the majority of students take this survey and we can then gauge the student body’s knowledge of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism. We offered to share our results with the doctors, hoping it could be useful or interesting to them because they only tested a select faction of the French population.
I think Westtown will have similar results. 95% of the participants identified the names of each disorder, but less than 70% successfully identified the characteristics that corresponded with the disorders. I think Westtown results will show a similarly high percentage of students acknowledging the disorder, but might have a lower percentage of being able to identify the disorders. Students may not have much experience with the disorders, and therefore cannot point out the characteristics that go along with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or autism. 65% of the respondents agreed in social distancing from schizophrenic patients because they are assumed to be dangerous. I think the Westtown percentage will be lower, because we are constantly exposed to being out of our comfort zone and talking to new people. Westtown is more accepting of situations that a non-Westtown student may feel uncomfortable in. The 65% who thought to remove themselves from the situation of a schizophrenic person probably do not have much knowledge of schizophrenia, and relied on prejudgments that drove them to want to walk away. Westtown students would not have as much of a problem with interacting or being in proximity of a schizophrenic patient because Westtown exposes the students to new and different situations on the daily. For example, meeting, students, teachers, or guests with very different demographics or beliefs, and interacting with a schizophrenic person would not be assessed as much different than any other time we have had to step out of our comfort zone to learn or meet people.
The conclusion of this survey is that the attitudes towards people affected with either bipolar disorder or autism are less prejudicial than towards people with schizophrenia. Assumptions drive one’s attitude and behavior towards disorders, rather than one’s knowledge or evidence of information of disorders.
I am excited to analyze the survey results at Westtown and identify will students’ stigmas towards mental disorders. Brandon and I have been talking to T. Deb and Kiara, making sure that this survey is the best that it can be. We want it to be beneficial to our research, but also want it to be concise for the students. So, we will write on the top of the handed out survey that this is only a template of the survey, and also give an overview of our semester project. Maybe you’ll even receive the survey! If so, we’d love to hear your feedback!
PS Brandon and I are working on the formatting of the survey, but if you want to take a peek at it, here you go! I don’t know how to make it public, but request access through gmail and I’ll let you see it! 🙂
Photo: Taking a survey. Truth About Deception. Truth About Deception, n.d. Web. 9 Nov.