Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Clinician Language and Client Outlook in Alcohol Use Disorder and Schizophrenia
by Lamb, Ashley, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2016, 52; 10127211
Abstract (Summary)

There is a marked amount of shame attached to the notion of being “mentally ill”, and a considerable portion of that shame appears to derive from the term itself. Although some negative stereotypes associated with mental illnesses have subsided over time, there are still substantial gains to be made in the area of stigmatized mental disorders labels. Language appears to have a significant impact on how individuals with mental illness perceive themselves, their illness, and their treatment. To date, there is little research that purports how “softer” versus more clinical terminology used for specific mental illnesses would affect treatment outlook for the client. Through the use of vignettes, this study examines an imaginary client’s outlook on aspects of treatment after receiving a diagnosis using either "soft", clinical, or unprofessional language. The purpose of this research is to determine whether the type of language used by mental health clinicians affects how participants view such things as the therapist, the accuracy of the diagnosis and the treatment. Specifically, this study focuses on common labels used when describing schizophrenia and alcohol abuse disorder. This study explored whether labels that are interpreted as accurate but less clinical (i.e. “soft”) are received more positively than more “harsh” but accurate clinical language.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pawlow, Laura
Commitee: Pomerantz, Andrew, Segrist, Daniel
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Alcohol, Client, Clinician, Disorder, Essentialist language, Language, Outlook, Schizophrenia
Publication Number: 10127211
ISBN: 978-1-339-85248-5
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