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140. Examining the Attribution Model of mental illness stigma
The Attribution Model suggests that public stereotypes about mental illnesses lead to emotional responses (e.g., anger, pity), in turn leading to discriminatory or helping behaviors. This study aims to clarify a model of relationships between stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination towards people with mental illness. Participants (n=334) were recruited via MTurk, and completed the Attribution Questionnaire-27 (AQ). We examined the Attribution Model via confirmatory factor analysis, using MPlus to test three measurement models suggested by the literature. After establishing an appropriate factor structure, latent variable path analysis will be used to test hypothesized relationships. Two models using all 27 items from the AQ (one with 8 factors, one with 6) produced poor data fit. A third model using 21 items fit well with the data (RMSEA = 0.07, CFI = 0.95, TLI = 0.94, SRMR = 0.05), and had 6 factors: Responsibility, Pity, Anger, Fear, Help/Interaction, and Forced Treatment. The underlying factor structure of the Attribution Model aligns with theoretical expectations about sources of stigma, but relationships are simpler than previously thought; stereotypes and emotional reactions to stereotypes may not be clearly distinguishable, instead representing similar latent variables. Future theoretical work is necessary to better understand the origins of stigma.