Korean J Schizophr Res.  2015 Apr;18(1):16-20. 10.16946/kjsr.2015.18.1.16.

Attitudes Toward the Dangerousness of the Mentally Ill

  • 1Department of Social Psychology, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, Korea. jsirispark@hotmail.com


The aim of the present study is to investigate the attitudes of people toward the dangerousness of the mentally ill. The study eventually aims to contribute to developing strategies for reducing prejudice against people with mental illness.
A total of 358 college students participated in the study. A 6-item questionnaire was administered to examine attitudes toward the dangerousness of the mentally ill, with Belief in a Just World Scale. Then, attitudes toward crime committed by patients with different types of mental illness (Schizophrenia, Depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder, Panic disorder, PTSD, Dementia, ADHD, and Mental Retardation) were assessed.
People strongly believed that most of the crime by the mentally ill was committed on the spur of the moment, and that crime of the mentally ill had recently increased. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between prejudice against the dangerousness of the mentally ill and just-world beliefs. In addition, patients with Schizophrenia were assessed to be the most dangerous out of 8 different types of mental illness.
There exists considerable prejudices against the dangerousness of the mentally ill, especially those with schizophrenia. The present findings emphasize the urgent need to clarify misunderstandings regarding the dangerousness of the mentally ill.


Crime; Mentally ill; Schizophrenia; Dangerousness; Just-World Beliefs

MeSH Terms

Bipolar Disorder
Dangerous Behavior*
Depressive Disorder
Mentally Ill Persons*
Panic Disorder
Surveys and Questionnaires
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic


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