An Investigation of the Potential Use of Attribution Theory in Reducing Depression stigma in China

Yao, X. (Claremont Graduate University), Siegel, J. (Claremont Graduate University)

This presentation assesses the potential utility of using an attribution-based approach for increasing the provision of help to people with depression in China. Based on Weiner’s attribution theory, we assessed whether perceived controllability and stability are associated with emotional response to people with depression, and whether anger and sympathy are associated with willingness to provide social support. The first study being presented was conducted in a Chinese community sample in which participants were randomly assigned in two conditions – one group (N = 148) imagined their close others getting depressed, while the other group (N = 154) imagined their acquaintances getting depressed. Perceived controllability and stability, affective responses, and willingness to provide social support were measured. Moderation effects of interpersonal relationships and attributions were found. A second study being presented looked into variations of attributional processes of depression among high school students (N = 510) and their parents (N = 512) in Qingdao, China. Participants were recruited in three local high schools and measured on identical scales as the other study. Although results among the high school students replicated data collected from U.S. populations, the data collected from parents indicated unexpected response patterns.


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