Schizophrenia knowledge and attitudes toward help-seeking among Japanese fathers and mothers of high school students


The prodromal symptoms of schizophrenia are nonspecific and include social withdrawal, sleeplessness, decreased desire, and loss of concentration. Schizophrenia outcomes might be improved if greater therapeutic effort was focused on people with prodromal symptoms. To hasten help-seeking for schizophrenia, we developed a schizophrenia education program for families of patients. Help-seeking and schizophrenia attitudes and knowledge were analyzed among Japanese parents (666 fathers and 613 mothers) of high school students by using the Social Distance Scale-Japanese version, the Link Devaluation-Discrimination Measure and our own questions on help-seeking and schizophrenia knowledge. Statistical analysis included cross-tabulation, the χ2 test, and multiple regression analysis. Most (97.5%) fathers were aged 40 - 59 years; most (78.3%) mothers were aged 40 - 49 years. There was a significant difference between fathers and mothers in basic knowledge of schizophrenia (P < 0.001); however, fathers and mothers did not significantly differ in their attitudes toward schizophrenia (P > 0.05). When asked what treatment they would seek for a child with sleeplessness or social withdrawal, fathers and mothers significantly differed in seeking help medical care at a department of psychosomatic medicine (P < 0.05) and in seeking help from the nurse at their child’s school (P < 0.001). Fathers and mothers also differed in relation to the decision not to seek help (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that basic knowledge significantly

differed between fathers and mothers (P = 0.001). In an analysis of parental response to a child with sleepiness and social withdrawal, multiple regression analysis revealed that fathers and mothers significantly differed in the likelihood of seeking help at a department of psychosomatic medicine and from a school nurse and in the likelihood of not seeking help (P < 0.05, P = 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, help-seeking behavior differed between Japanese fathers and mothers. These findings should assist in developing schizophrenia education programs that aim to hasten intervention.

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Yoshii, H. , Watanabe, Y. , Kitamura, H. and Akazawa, K. (2013) Schizophrenia knowledge and attitudes toward help-seeking among Japanese fathers and mothers of high school students. Health, 5, 497-503. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.53A068.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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