This study measured and compared the attitudes of social work students and practicing psychiatric social workers to the inclusion in the community of people with mental illness. The Community Living Attitude Scale Mental Illness (comprising the four subscales of Empowerment, Exclusion, Sheltering, and Similarity) was administered to a random sample of 68 Israeli BA social work students (first year: n = 35; third year: n = 33) and 28 practicing psychiatric social workers. Overall, the participants endorsed Empowerment and perceived the Similarity of persons with mental illness to themselves more than they agreed with the Exclusion attitude of segregating those persons from community life. First-year students rated Empowerment and Similarity significantly lower than did the third-year students and rated Sheltering significantly higher than did psychiatric social workers. Psychiatric social workers did not differ from third-year students and did not have stronger attitudi- nal commitment to the inclusion paradigm. They differed from first-year students only in the sheltering attitude; they showed lower support for sheltering people with mental illness.
- Mental illness
- Practicing psychiatric social workers
- Social work students