Knowledge and attitude towards mental illness- A comparative study among rural and urban college students

AUTHOR(s) : Neog Momi, Khanikar Mridula Saikia
DOI No. : 01.2017-98363598

Introduction: With 356 million in the age of 10-24 years; India has the world’s largest youth population despite having a smaller general population than China. Methods: A descriptive and comparative study design was undertaken amongst 200 college students. The sampling technique adopted for the study was stratified random sampling. Results: 22% of the rural college students have inadequate knowledge towards mental illness followed by 73% having moderate level of knowledge; whereas 10% of urban college students have inadequate knowledge, followed by 64% having moderate knowledge level towards mental illness. Only 5% of rural students had adequate knowledge compared to 26% of urban college students having adequate knowledge regarding mental illness.77% of the rural college students and 60% of urban college students have a moderate attitude level towards mental illness whereas, only 10% of the rural students had favourable attitude as compared to 28% urban students having favourable attitude towards mental illness. Knowledge and attitude of the students towards mental illness were found to be significantly associated with the location of the colleges (rural and urban) (p < 0.01). A significant positive correlation has been found between the knowledge and attitude scores (p < 0.01). Knowledge of the respondents was found to be associated with steam of education, educational status of the parents, occupational status of father, monthly income of the family and source of mental health information. Attitude of the respondents were found to be associated with stream of education, occupational status of father, monthly income of the family and source of mental health information. Conclusion: The study findings suggest the need of proper awareness programmes among the student community, which would help dispel any myths and misconceptions regarding mental illness.

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