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Attitudes of students about mental health

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Tunde Ogedengbe

on 4 July 2013

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Transcript of Attitudes of students about mental health

From all the information gathered it seems as though the women are more open towards those who suffer from mental disorders, due to the fact that they would confide in more people than the males would. Although this is counteracted by the fact that more females believe that employers would judge a potential employee that was diagnosed.
Males seem more conservative about their views about mental disorders; in my study more males circled the "i'd rather not say," possibly because they do not know what they would do in that situation or for other reasons.
Overall i believe that my study agree's with my hyptohesis even though my study was not the most efficient and accurate it shows that women are more open towards mental disorders. I believe that the females are more open towards mental disorders because; They mature faster than males, and they are more emotional." Dr Brizedine conducted research into the maturity of females and found that girls brains can be up to two years ahead(regarding maturity) throughout puberty. This gives females a head start in maturity allowing them to be more empathetic and sympathetic with those who are in different positions; because their brains are more knowledgeable."(1) Although my candidates are 16-21 and are either going through puberty or have gone through it, this head start allows females to be technically 2 years ahead of men (although this varies).

Women are also more emotional than men a study shows that "Scientists seem find that females have a high level of emotional intelligence compared to men, Their sense of empathy and understanding of other peoples emotions is more in depth. Researchers in Scandinavia found that women could detect, but also mirror, the emotions of other people".(2) Due to women's developed emotional intelligence they can empathse better with people compared to men allowing them to understand what situation a person who suffers from a mental disorders could be in.
Ultimately this research supports my results that females are more positive because they are more open-minded and empathetic, Whilst my study shoes males are more conservative about their views.
In conclusion i reject the null hypothesis (H0, and accept the alternative (H1).

I used questionnaires to gather information for my study; my questionnaires featured open ended questions and close ended questions. I used open ended questions because they would provide me with more in depth answers for certain questions. My other questions were close-ended questions these were used to save time and to make the data that i collated easier to analyse, this mixture gave me good information whilst not wasting either the respondent's time or mine from analysing the data. My study sample (To the right) were picked using random sampling this was the quickest and most suitable method because I could ask any student within the sixth-form area.

To statistically analyse the data that I collected I used a bar chart, originally i decieded to use a correlation graph but due to the structure of my questions and my lack of data (correlation is more suitable to a range of data) it was more suitable to use a two-bar chart graph easily and simply comparing Male and Female.
From the analysis of the data that i received it seems to show that females are more open towards mental illnesses for instance the females from my sample were slightly more comfortable to cofide in people that they knew on the other hand the male samples were less comfortable and confident.
When my male sample was asked whether they would distance themselves from somebody who suffered from a mental disorder slightly more males were unsure and would rather not say; although they could have selected rather not say for different reasons so this part of my data is inconclusive.
The next questions response was similar as the previous the data from the male sample and female sample, making this questions data inconclusive.
Another question that i posed to my samples was regarding how many people in the UK population were diagnosed with a pyschological disorder per year; i believe my samples knowledge about pyschological disorders was not amazing or possibly the question was to open ended.
My final question was much more specific although it was an open ended question, although on this question the females were slightly more negative.

The attitudes
of students about Mental health

By Tunde

H1- My hypothesis: I believe that females would be more accepting(positive) and understanding to those who suffer from mental disorders.
H0:The null hypothesis I believe male will be more negative than females towards those who suffer from mental disorders
The aim of the study was to assess the attitudes that students have towards disorders, for this study I will find out how students (16-21) attitudes are towards those who are suffer from psychological disorders; to analyse which gender is more positive or negative.

Discussion & Conclusion
There are many improvements that could be made in my study was the questionnaire it was quite short and the available answers were not in depth; although the questionnaire was purposely made to be quick and easy due to the fact that my sample group(A-levels) were studying at the time for important tests. An improvement that could be made would be to either pick a better sample size to produce better data or attempt to find a balance between in depth questions and easy questions. Also one of my questions was too open/vague the students did not even nearly get close to the real answer (How many people do you think get diagnosed with a psychological disorder per year in the UK?)
An improvement that i could make alongside with the improvement of my questionnaire would be to improve my statistical data. Although my statistical was easy to analyse the sample data was small and if this data was supposed to represent the opinions of male's and females for example it would not be accurate because the population of UK is 62,740,000; And my sample size was 20.

Other improvements could be choosing a different sample group as i said in the method that my sample group were quite occupied with other things. If I chose a different sample group e.g Mature students I could have created more in depth questions

Ethical consideration is important because it the subject of mental health problems can be a sensitive issue for people. So firstly I will consider ethical issues then deal with them. To protect people’s views and identity for example I will use their student I.D and I will not take their name, I will do this so that the participant’s views are concealed and their views will not be identified to them.
I will word my questionnaire carefully so that I do not unintentionally offend my sample or make them psychologically afflicted by my questions. I will also not pressurise them to answer the questionnaire just simply whilst being persuasive if they would like to answer the questionnaire, these are ways that I can deal with ethical issues. Using information from the BPS website which advises that informed consent must be given, I will ask the students for their consent to participate in this questionnaire.

Ethical issues;

Privacy – the privacy and opinions of the students must be kept which is why my questionnaire will have only their student numbers and not their names; this is done to help conceal identity. This ethical issue is important because for example if their identity was known and somebody saw their
Opinions of mental health issues the participant could be judged for their views or scrutinized depending on what their opinions are.

Consent -The participants must fully understand what they are involving themselves and what the data that they have provided will be used for, this will be done in the debrief of my questionnaire and if they require further information regarding the study then I can provide that information either
Verbally or through other forms of contact such as by leaving my email, for situations such as if once they have participated in the questionnaire then they would like to withdraw.

Distress & Withdrawal- Students may want to withdraw because they have had time to consider the information that they are providing and they are uncomfortable with it, my questionnaire also has a question which assesses how they felt overall regarding the questionnaire, below this my contact details are available so that they can have time to contemplate whether they are completely happy with the questionnaire.

Debrief- The participants must be entirely debriefed about what the questionnaire is for and where the information that they will provide will go, also informing them what the project is about and for; during this time the participants will be welcomed to ask me questions regarding the project and questionnaire or they could withdraw at this point or even express their distress with me, we can then come to a conclusion if they are unhappy with the questionnaire it will not be used, this will be done to protect their ethical rights.

Deception- The participants cannot be deceived/ mislead, meaning my aim and my objective should be clearly described to them depending on if they would like to know and it must be the truth; they cannot be deceived because it is unfair towards them also morally wrong because I would be deceiving them for my own purposes. Regarding my questionnaire all the information that I have provided is truthful to avoid bias; I have even chosen random sampling as one of my methods to avoid bias.
Confidentiality- I must treat the participants information
as confidential this is one of the most important ethical issues because information that is confidential is sensitive information meaning that if the participant participates they have places their trust in me that I will not betray this confidentiality; confidentiality is important because it is personal sensitive information regarding a person in this case it would be the participant.

Advice- Any useful advice that I can offer to the participant I will offer in terms of offering them leaflets and other outlets to professional help, if they are experiencing situations where mental illnesses/disorders are involved then I will try and provide the best information that can to help them; although I am not a professional so I will not be diagnosing my participants or telling them what to do regarding their lives I will offer them outlets to professional help. E.g. websites and leaflets.

In conclusion ethical issues must be followed because they protect the participant’s confidentiality privacy and opinions making them feel comfortable to participate and creating a non-bias environment for them to be able to participate fairly.

Ethical Issues
Graphical results from questionnaire
In this study that I conducted I analysed and found out what the attitudes were from students (male and female) towards people with mental disorders/illnesses; my participants were A-level students from Reading College. I believed that females were more positive towards those with mental disorders in comparison with men who were more negative or neutral, the research that i had found regarding the attitudes of people in the UK spurred me to curiously want to know which gender in particular was more positive in terms of attitudes. I fouund that females were slightly more positive in comparison to men who were either negative or neutral.
Random Sampling

The sample group were chosen via random sampling, this is a good method because it is very efficient in getting participants because I can ask a larger number of people without being specific.
I asked people that i saw within the A-level Sixth form area; the people that i assumed were 16-21. I used this method because it was simplistic to get participants and also it would reduce the bias within my study due to the fact the participants were not being specifically picked.


When thinking about how to gather data, we as a class did research on the best methods to do so; I chose the questionnaire because it gave me control of indepth answers when i needed them. and short answers when i needed them (open ended and close eneded).
I also picked this method because it can be selfcompleted by the participants and by making the questions not to difficult or confonfusing it saved my time and gave me useful data.

These bar charts represent answers given by the males and females that participates in the questionnaire
1) http://www.drlumd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/The-Female-Brain.pdf
2) http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/are-women-more-emotional-men
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