Implicit attitudes, emotions, and helping intentions of mental health workers toward their clients

Loren Brener*, Grenville Rose, Courtney Von Hippel, Hannah Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The attitudes of mental health care workers toward their clients may influence the quality of care they provide. There is growing recognition of the role of implicit attitudes in behavior toward people with stigmatized illnesses, such as mental illness, and of the need to measure these separately from explicit attitudes. Seventy-four mental health workers completed implicit and explicit measure of attitudes toward people with mental illness. The participants were also asked about their intention to help people with mental illness and their emotional reactions toward people with a mental illness. The findings show that the implicit attitudes of the health workers toward clients with a mental illness are somewhat negative despite the fact that their explicit attitudes are somewhat positive. Although both implicit and explicit attitudes predicted negative emotions, only implicit attitudes were related to helping intentions. This study highlights the association between implicit attitudes and behavioral intentions and confirms the importance of addressing implicit attitudes in mental health research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-463
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotions
  • Helping intentions
  • Implicit attitudes
  • Mental health


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