Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore factors associated with the social distance attitudes of nursing students towards adults with mental disorders. The relationship between social distance and attitudes toward adults with mental disorders was also examined. Methods: A descriptive research was conducted to describe the characteristics of the population and the data were collected from September 22 to October 2, 2014. The sample included 359 participants. Social distance was measured by a modified version of the Social Distance Scale and CAMI was used to assess attitudes towards adults with mental disorders. Results: Participants showed less authoritarian, more benevolence, less social restrictiveness in attitudes towards adults with mental disorders. The participants also showed a positive community mental health ideology. More importantly, the attitudes towards people with mental disorders was the strongest predictor (β=.67), explaining 35% of the social distance. Conclusion: With a deeper understanding of social distance as related to attitudes towards people with mental disorders, it is possible to create targeted interventions with the overall goal of minimizing the social distance and authoritarianism and of facilitating benevolence among nursing students.