Sex differences in opinion towards mental illness of secondary school students in Hong Kong.Int J Soc Psychiatry 2000; 46(2):79-88IJ
Sex differences in social attitudes have been well documented. Women hold more positive attitudes toward mental illness than men do. This paper reports on the effect of sex differences in a study of secondary school students' opinions about mental illness in Hong Kong. A total of 2,223 secondary school students, drawn by random sample, completed a 45-item questionnaire on Opinion about Mental Illness in Chinese Community (OMICC) with a six-point Likert Scale. Individual items with weak correlations were eliminated, leaving 33 items for analysis (Cronbach's Alpha = .866). Using factor analysis six factors were identified. These include: Benevolence, Separatism, Stereotyping, Restrictiveness, Pessimistic Prediction and Stigmatization. Results showed that girls scored higher regarding benevolence. Boys were found to have more stereotyping, restrictive, pessimistic and stigmatizing attitudes towards mental illness.