Social Exclusion of People Who Suffer from Mental Disorders
A Proposal for an Explanatory Model
Abstract: Beliefs about the nature of social groups may motivate people to exclude members of minority groups from their conviviality. This process is analyzed in this article by proposing an explanatory model for the social exclusion of people suffering from mental disorders wherein beliefs about the nature of mental disorder, the perception of threat and prejudice contribute to social exclusion. Two studies (Study 1, N = 254; Study 2, N = 236) were conducted with university students who answered the following questions about beliefs and prejudices regarding mental disorders, perceived threat and social exclusion. Regression analyses have shown that exclusion is motivated by prejudice, whose impact is mediated by perceived threat. The results also indicated that prejudice is anchored in participants’ beliefs on the nature of mental disorders, especially those with a religious basis.
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