What factors affect the attitudes of young people to dementia?

Research project: Determinants of dementia attitudes in young people

Lead Investigator: Dr Nicolas Farina

  • Institution: Brighton and Sussex Medical School 
  • Grant type: PhD studentship
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Amount:  £74,962

Project summary

Stigma towards dementia can lead to people not accessing the support and care that they need.

This PhD studentship will explore what factors are associated with dementia attitudes at a young age. It will help researchers, educators and advocates to better understand how and why stigma towards dementia forms, allowing for evidence-based interventions to be developed. 

The background

Many people with dementia experience stigma from others in society.

While strides have been made to open the conversation and educate people about dementia, stigma still exists and it can prevent people with dementia from accessing the care and support they need. To tackle this stigma, we first need to understand it and where it comes from.  

What does this project involve? 

This PhD studentship wants to aims to identify the factors that influence the attitudes of young people, those under the ages of 18, to dementia. This might include their personal experience, the portrayal of dementia in the media or other factors.

The student will be reviewing the published literature, looking at factors like age, gender, ethnicity, and empathy to see if they are associated. Finally, they will be surveying 1,200 young people to identify factors associated with negative attitudes towards dementia, the role they play in attitude formation and how they change over time. 

How will this project help people with dementia? 

The more we can learn about the underlying reasons that lead to the stigma of dementia, the faster and earlier we can tackle it.

By understanding how and why young people's attitudes to dementia form, we can work on developing solutions to change these views and better support people living with dementia. 

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