Copeland, Toni J.
Hoffman, David M.
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures
Mental illness is a complex phenomenon that is social and psychological as well as biological. But since the creation of the DSM-III in the 1980s, the landscape of mental health research and treatment in the United States has been heavily influenced by the biomedical model. The thoughts and beliefs of the lay public about mental illness are often ignored despite the push for greater cultural understanding among biomedical professionals. This disconnect, coupled with the poor mental health infrastructure, has left Mississippi with an inadequate ability to help Mississippians address mental illness. This research uses cognitive anthropological methods and biocultural theory to begin to address this disconnect. A shared cultural model of mental illness by causes, symptoms, and treatments was found. There were systematic differences between the two groups’ knowledge of causes of mental illness. Understanding these will assist in providing more culturally appropriate care for the mentally ill.
Kennett, Curtis Andrew, "Mental Illness in Starkville, MS: A Cultural Consensus Analysis of the Public Conceptions of Mental Illness" (2016). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 3063.