Public conceptions of mental illness in 1950 and 1996: What is mental illness and is it to be feared?

  title={Public conceptions of mental illness in 1950 and 1996: What is mental illness and is it to be feared?},
  author={Jo C. Phelan and Bruce G. Link and Ann Stueve and Bernice A. Pescosolido},
  journal={Journal of Health and Social Behavior},
In the 1950s, the public defined mental illness in much narrower and more extreme terms than did psychiatry, and fearful and rejecting attitudes toward people with mental illnesses were common. Several indicators suggest that definitions of mental illness may have broadened and that rejection and negative stereotypes may have decreased since that time. However, lack of comparable data over time prevents us from drawing firm conclusions on these questions. To address this problem, the Mental… 

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