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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 320-324

Social distancing attitudes toward the mentally ill and victims of sexual violence among college students in Southwest Nigeria


Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Taiwo Opekitan Afe
Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.193654

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Background and Objectives: Negative perception and distancing attitudes toward individuals with mental illness and victims of sexual violence are prevalent in many societies and cultures, Attitudes toward these two groups of individuals in sub-Saharan Africa remains negative in the larger society. However, not much survey has been done among college students who represent an educated youthful generation that can usually be targets for positive reorientation programs. The aim of the study was to compare social distancing attitudes using hypothesized social situations involving individuals with mental illness and victims of sexual violence. Methods: A cross-sectional random survey was carried out in two federally-funded institutions in Lagos Mainland, Nigeria. Results: One hundred and seventy-two students responded. Negative social distancing attitudes were expressed toward both groups by college students. Negative perception and distancing are high among college students toward both groups with higher negativity toward individuals with mental illness (10.10±0.7) than with sexual violence (9.16±1.25). Conclusion: There is a need to focus on enlightenment programs on mental illness and sexual violence among college students in higher institutions.


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