Perceptions of Discrimination Among Persons With Serious Mental Illness

University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477, USA.
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 2.41). 09/2003; 54(8):1105-10. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed


The authors sought to gain further perspective on discrimination experienced by persons with mental illness by comparing self-reports of discrimination due to mental illness to self-reports of discrimination due to other group characteristics, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation.
A total of 1,824 persons with serious mental illness who participated in a baseline interview for a multistate study on consumer-operated services completed a two-part discrimination questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire assessed participants' perceptions about discrimination due to mental illness as well as more than half a dozen other group characteristics. The second part of the questionnaire asked participants who reported some experience with discrimination to identify areas in which this discrimination occurred, such as employment, education, and housing.
More than half of the study participants (949 participants, or 53 percent) reported some experience with discrimination. The most frequent sources of this discrimination were mental disability, race, sexual orientation, and physical disability. Areas in which discrimination frequently occurred included employment, housing, and interactions with law enforcement. Areas in which discrimination was experienced did not significantly differ among groups of study participants characterized by mental disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical disability.
Discrimination based on group characteristics other than mental illness does not diminish the impact of stigma associated with mental illness. Antistigma programs need to target not only discrimination related to mental illness but also that associated with other group characteristics, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and physical disability.

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    • "The psychological and social sequelae of self-stigma may also be farreaching (Yanos et al., 2010). Psychologically, self-stigma is correlated with feelings of shame (Campbell and Deacon, 2006), depression and demoralisation (Corrigan et al., 2003; Link, 1987; Link et al., 1991; Link et al., 1997), diminished hope and self-esteem (Corrigan et al., 2006; Lysaker et al., 2008; Werner et al., 2008), and the exacerbation of illness-related symptoms. Ritsher and Phelan (2004) argue that the most damaging aspect of experiencing self-stigma may be the feeling that one is no longer a full member of society and/or no longer like " normal " community members. "
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    ABSTRACT: A number of health problems are associated with significant stigma, a social phenomenon in which individuals become the object of negative stereotypes. In addition to experiencing negative reactions from others, stigmatised individuals and groups can experience harmful consequences when they internalise these negative prevailing attitudes. The objective of this paper was to consider the potential to develop Internet-based health-related interventions explicitly targeting the effects of stigma on the individual. A review of the literature was conducted to synthesise current conceptualisations of stigma and self-stigma across a number of groups, and to identify current intervention developments. Self-stigma reduction strategies developed for in-person services include cognitive reframing, myth busting, contact with other members of the stigmatised group, and disclosure promotion. The development and provision of interventions targeting self-stigma within an online environment is in its infancy. Our review considers there to be particular potential of online interventions for this target, associated with the capacity of the Internet to promote having contact with peers within one’s stigmatised group, and for user interaction and empowerment. We conclude that self-stigma is a domain in which there is significant potential for innovation with health-related interventions, and provide a number of recommendations for online intervention development.
    Internet Interventions 02/2015; 15. DOI:10.1016/j.invent.2015.01.003
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    • "LGBT individuals face elevated rates of stigma, including higher rates of discrimination and violence than sexual and gender dominant groups (Hellman et al., 2010; Kidd et al., 2011; Mizock & Lewis, 2008). One study found reports of discrimination among individuals with mental illness were highest among LGBT individuals (Corrigan et al., 2003). Transgender individuals may experience especially elevated rates of stigma (Kidd et al.). "
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    ABSTRACT: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals with mental illness encounter double stigma of mental illness and LGBT identity that can uniquely impact the process of acceptance of mental illness. Acceptance of mental illness is essential to promoting recovery and may be one of the most crucial and difficult steps in this process. Qualitative case narrative methodology was used to identify themes related to the facilitators and barriers in the acceptance process for lesbian, gay, and transgender (LGT) individuals in the present study. Three participant narratives are presented to assist practitioners in applying these findings to clinical practice. Selected case narratives represent participants with LGT identities to illustrate facilitators and barriers in the acceptance process among individuals within this group. Identified themes included identity factors at the micro level, relational factors at the meso level, and systemic factors at the macro level. Notably, identity-related facilitators of acceptance of mental illness included developing preferred terminology and self-defined language. Implications are suggested for psychotherapy and research pertaining to the process of acceptance of mental illness for LGBT individuals with mental illness.
    Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health 07/2014; 18(3):320-341. DOI:10.1080/19359705.2013.828007
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    • "définissait la stigmatisation comme les réactions négatives d'un groupe ou d'une société envers un de ses membres qui présente une caractéristique le différenciant du reste des individus. La majorité des personnes souffrant d'un trouble psychique perçoivent une stigmatisation liée à leur état [2]. Une littérature abondante s'est intéressée à la stigmatisation de la maladie mentale selon le point de vue de la population générale [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim People suffering from mental illness are exposed to stigma. However, only few tools are available to assess stigmatization as perceived from the patient's perspective. The aim of this study is to adapt and validate a French version of the Stigma Scale (King et al., 2007 [8]). This self-report questionnaire has a three-factor structure: discrimination, disclosure and positive aspects of mental illness. Discrimination subscale refers to perceived negative reactions of others. Disclosure subscale refers mainly to managing disclosure to avoid discrimination and finally positive aspects subscale taps into how patients are becoming more accepting, more understanding toward their illness. Method In the first step, internal consistency, convergent validity and test-retest reliability of the French adaptation of the 28-item scale were assessed in a sample of 183 patients. Results of confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) did not confirm the hypothesized structure. In the light of the failed attempts to validate the original version, an alternative 9-item short-form version of the Stigma Scale, maintaining the integrity of the original model, was developed based on results of exploratory factor analyses in the first sample and cross-validated in a new sample of 234 patients. Results Results of CFA did not confirm that the data fitted well to the three-factor model of the 28-item Stigma Scale (χ2/df = 2.02, GFI = 0.77, AGFI = 0.73, RMSEA = 0.07, CFI = 0.77 and NNFI = 0.75). Cronbach's α was excellent for discrimination (0.84) and disclosure (0.83) subscales but poor for potential positive aspects (0.46). External validity was satisfactory. Overall Stigma Scale total score was negatively correlated with the score on Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale (r = –0.49), and each subscale was significantly correlated with a visual analogue scale that referred to the specific aspect of stigma (0.43 ≤ |r| ≤ 0.60). Intraclass correlation coefficients between 0.68 and 0.89 indicated good test-retest reliability. The results of the CFA demonstrated that the items chosen for the short version of the Stigma Scale have the expected fit properties (χ2/df = 1.02, GFI = 0.98, AGFI = 0.98, RMSEA = 0.01, CFI = 1.0 and NNFI = 1.0). Considering the small number (three) of items in each subscale of the short version of the Stigma Scale, α coefficients for discrimination (0.57), disclosure (0.80) and potential positive aspects subscales (0.62) are considered as good. Conclusion Our results suggest that the 9-item French short version of the Stigma Scale is a useful, reliable and valid self-report questionnaire to assess perceived stigmatization in people suffering from mental illness. The time of completion is really short and questions are well understood and accepted by the patients.
    L Encéphale 12/2013; 39(6):408–415. DOI:10.1016/j.encep.2013.03.002 · 0.70 Impact Factor
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