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Stigma toward individuals with mental illness: validation of the Arabic version of the Attribution Questionnaire in a university student population

Bochra Nourhene Saguem (Department of Psychiatry, Farhat Hached Hospital, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia)
Marwa Gharmoul (Department of Psychiatry, Farhat Hached Hospital, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia)
Amel Braham (Department of Psychiatry, Farhat Hached Hospital, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia)
Selma Ben Nasr (Department of Psychiatry, Farhat Hached Hospital, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia)
Sang Qin (College of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Patrick Corrigan (College of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 7 May 2021

Issue publication date: 14 September 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the reliability and validity of the Arabic version of the attribution questionnaire (AQ).

Design/methodology/approach

The AQ is designed to assess attitudes, affects and behavioral intentions related to a hypothetical person diagnosed with schizophrenia. The original English version was translated into Literary Arabic. A total of 310 students registered in different universities, with medical and paramedical establishments excluded completed the Arabic version of AQ. Reliability was tested using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized paths. Correlations among exogenous (e.g. responsibility) and endogenous (e.g. help) variables in the path were examined. Fit indicators were then examined for equations that were identified.

Findings

The results revealed that the Arabic version of AQ showed acceptable psychometric properties in the assessment of stigma in the Tunisian population. All factors of this Arabic version showed Cronbach’s alpha values equal to or greater than 0.72. Structural equation models for the responsibility and dangerousness models were mostly supported. The Arabic version of AQ is valid and reliable for the assessment of stigma in Tunisian and Arabic-speaking populations.

Practical implications

The Arabic version of AQ may be used to promote research on stigma toward people with mental illness in larger and more representative Tunisian and Arabic-speaking populations, which will help to further address the complex and multifaceted phenomenon of stigma toward people with mental illness.

Originality/value

This is the first validated stigma measure in the Tunisian socio-cultural context.

Keywords

Citation

Saguem, B.N., Gharmoul, M., Braham, A., Ben Nasr, S., Qin, S. and Corrigan, P. (2021), "Stigma toward individuals with mental illness: validation of the Arabic version of the Attribution Questionnaire in a university student population", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 201-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-10-2020-0135

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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