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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Causal beliefs of mental disorders and treatment preferences in Ghana Lamensdorf, Angela Mona-Lisa


The present study investigated the association between social change and personality, causal beliefs, and treatment style and goal preferences of 375 Ghanaian teachers. The index of social change (ISC) was conceptualized as the average percentile rank of the individual's income and levels of education and acculturation. The self-report measures (greatly modified after two pilot studies), were subscales of the Suinn\Lew Acculturation Scale, the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (dependency), the Sociotropy-Autonomy Scale (autonomy), the Symptom Checklist '90 (paranoid ideation), the Spheres of Control Scale, and the Cognitive Somatic Anxiety Questionnaire. Respondents also completed a questionnaire on causal beliefs and treatment preferences pertaining to mental disorders. Results indicated that beliefs and treatment preferences were affected by the index of social change (ISC) and were specific to type of disorder. High ISC teachers endorsed significantly higher ratings on belief in an internal cause for Depression and Dependent Personality Disorder, and indicated greater preference for participation in treatment than lower ISC teachers. Contrary to prediction, lower ISC teachers indicated a greater preference for individual goals in treatment for Depression and Schizophrenia. High ISC teachers also reported greater perception of interpersonal control and emotional support, but less dependency, and interpersonal sensitivity than lower ISC teachers. Little support was found for the commonly observed somatization of distress among non-Western peoples. Explanations [Page III missing from original thesis abstract]

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