Optimism, Beliefs and Attitudes toward Mental Illness in Young Adults

Maheen Fatima (MSc, 2016-2018) Supervisor: Afifa Anjum

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan

Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: chairperson@appsy.pu.edu.pk, Phone: 92-42-9231245


The present study aimed to investigate the relationship of optimism with beliefs and attitudes toward mental illness. It was hypothesized that there would be a relationship between optimism, beliefs toward mental illness and attitudes toward mental illness. Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT- R; Scheier, Carver & Bridges, 1994) was used to measure optimism, Belief toward Mental Illness Scale (BTMI; Hirai, Vernon & Clum, 2016) was used to measure beliefs toward mental illness including the dimensions of dangerousness, incurability, embarrassment and social dysfunction and Attitudes toward Mental Health Problems Scale (ATMHP; Gilbert et al., 2007) was used to measure the attitudes toward mental illness having the five subscales; general societal attitudes, internal shame, external shame/ stigma awareness, and reflected shame. The sample consisted of 155 young adults. The sample was taken from the University of the Punjab, Lahore. The results were generated by applying descriptive statistics, reliability analysis and Pearson product moment correlation which showed that there is a significant relationship between optimism, beliefs and attitudes toward mental illness. Optimism was correlated with the subscale of BTMI i.e. incurability and the subscales of ATMHP i.e. internal shame, external shame/ stigma awareness, and reflected shame 1. The findings implied important role in awareness of mental illnesses, therapeutic procedure/ management plan of mentally ill persons and the promotion of optimistic thoughts in students.

Keywords: Optimism, beliefs, attitudes, mental illness, young adults.


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