Sample Literature Review Example
Writing a Short Literature Review
William Ashton, Ph.D.
York College, CUNY
A student began a short literature review on the stigma of the mentally ill and
perceptions of dangerousness. Working through PsychArticles she found three
likely articles. When she read each, she wrote a paragraph description of each:
Alexander, L.A., & Link, B.G. (2003). The impact of contact on stigmatizing
attitudes towards people with mental illness.
Journal of Mental Health, 12,
Alexander and Link (2003) examined the stigma of mental illness,
perceptions of dangerousness and social distance in a telephone survey. They
found that, as a participant’s own life contact with mentally ill individuals
increased, participants were both less likely to perceive a target mentally ill
individual in a vignette as physically dangerous and less likely to desire social
distance from the target. This relationship remained after controlling for
demographic and confound variables, such as gender, ethnicity, education,
income and political conservatism. They also found that any type of contact –
with a friend, a spouse, a family member, a work contact, or a contact in a public
place – with mentally ill individuals reduced perceptions of dangerousness of the
target in the vignette.
Corrigan, P. W., Rowan, D., Green, A., Lundin, R., River, P., Uphoff-Wasowski, K.,
White, K., & Kubiak, M.A. (2002). Challenging two mental illness stigmas:
Personality responsibility and dangerousness.
Schizophrenia Bulletin, 28,
Corrigan, Rowan, Green, Lundin, River, Uphoff-Wasowski, White and
Kubiak (2002) conducted two studies to investigate the strength of the theoretical
relationship between stigma and personality responsibility, and stigma and
dangerousness. Corrigan et al. posited two models to account for stigmatizing
reactions. In the first model, labeled
responsibility influences both the level of pity and anger displayed toward mental
patients. Additionally, the variables of pity and anger influence helping behavior.
In the second model, labeled
, perceived dangerousness
influences fear of mental patients, which in turn influences the avoidance of the
In their first study, Corrigan etal. (2002), administered a questionnaire to
216 community college students. This questionnaire contained items which
would allow the examination of the two models. The results of a path analysis
indicated that while both models fit the data, the results for the dangerousness
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