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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 26, Issue 2


Gender differences in the mental health literacy of young people

Adrian Furnham
  • Corresponding author
  • Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College, London
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jennifer Annis
  • Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College, London
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Kalia Cleridou
  • Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College, London
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-07-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2013-0301


Aim: This study explored the influence of gender on the mental health literacy (MHL) of young people.

Method: In all, 370 young people (aged 17–22 years) completed one of two questionnaires, in which they had to label/provide a diagnosis for nine vignettes of people with different mental health disorders. Half the vignettes had a male and the other half had a female character. They also rated the vignette person on nine scales.

Results: There was much variance in recognition for the different disorders, with a range of 77.0%–27.3% of participants “correctly” labeling the vignettes. Very few gender differences were found, but age and experience of/education in mental health were found to be positively correlated with MHL.

Conclusion: Gender differences in MHL may not be as great as previously thought. Although some disorders were recognized by the majority of participants, there are still common disorders that were not.

Keywords: mental health literacy; patient vignettes; young people


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About the article

Corresponding author: Adrian Furnham, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1 0AO, London, UK, E-mail:

Received: 2013-04-30

Accepted: 2013-05-24

Published Online: 2013-07-10

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 26, Issue 2, Pages 283–292, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, ISSN (Print) 0334-0139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2013-0301.

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