J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.  2015 Sep;24(3):168-177. 10.12934/jkpmhn.2015.24.3.168.

Mental Health Literacy among Parents of Adolescents and Teachers in Korea

  • 1College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. lovisway@snu.ac.kr
  • 2College of Nursing, the Research Institute of Nursing Science Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of mental health literacy (MHL) among parents of adolescents and middle and high school teachers in Korea.
A descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used for the present study. Participants were 120 parents and 103 middle and high school teachers in Korea. In 2014-2015 participants completed a survey about two case vignettes(adolescent schizophrenia and depression) and answered questions assessing recognition of these disorders and belief about the helpfulness of interventions and resources. Descriptive analysis, t-test and chi2 test were performed.
Schizophrenia was recognized by only 11.6% of parents and 25.2% of teachers. Depression was recognized by 32.5% of parents and 59.2% of teachers. Both parents and teachers acknowledged individual and socio-environmental factors as causes for schizophrenia and depression. However, they were less likely to recognize biological factors as potential causes for mental illness.
The findings demonstrate the need for education programs for parents of adolescents and teachers to improve their mental health literacy, particularly concerning biological causes of mental illness.


Recognition; Schizophrenia; Depression; Parents; School teachers

MeSH Terms

Biological Factors
Cross-Sectional Studies
Mental Health*
Biological Factors

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