Blame, shame, and contamination: the impact of mental illness and drug dependence stigma on family members.

Institute of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3424 South Slate Street, Chicago, IL 60616, USA.
Journal of Family Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.89). 07/2006; 20(2):239-46. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.2.239
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Family members of relatives with mental illness or drug dependence or both report that they are frequently harmed by public stigma. No population-based survey, however, has assessed how members of the general public actually view family members. Hence, the authors examined ways that family role and psychiatric disorder influence family stigma. A national sample (N = 968) was recruited for this study. A vignette design describing a person with a health condition and a family member was used. Family stigma related to mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, is not highly endorsed. Family stigma related to drug dependence, however, is worse than for other health conditions, with family members being blamed for both the onset and offset of a relative's disorder and likely to be socially shunned.

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    ABSTRACT: Background. Shame has been associated with a range of maladaptive behaviours, including substance use. Young people may be particularly vulnerable to heightened shame sensitivity, and substance use is a significant problem amongst UK adolescents. Although there appears to be a relationship between shame and substance use, the direction of the relationship remains unclear. Aim. The purpose of this study was to undertake a systematic review of the literature relating to shame and substance use in young people. Method. Five electronic databases were searched for articles containing terms related to 'adolescence,' 'shame' and 'substance use.' Six articles were included in the final analyses. Results. Adverse early experiences, particularly sexual abuse, predict shame-proneness, and substance use is a mechanism by which some individuals cope with negative feelings. In general, there is a dearth of literature investigating the shame-substance use relationship in adolescent samples. The available literature associates shame-proneness with poorer functioning and suggests that it may potentially lead to psychopathology and early-onset substance use. Scant attention has been paid to the cognitive and emotional processes implicated. Further research is required to ascertain the strength of the shame-substance use relationship in young people and to develop appropriate interventions for this population.
    01/2015; 3. DOI:10.7717/peerj.737
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    ABSTRACT: Contact-based anti-stigma programs delivered by people with lived experience yields stigma change. This study examined psychometrics and sensitivity of the California Assessment of Stigma Change (CASC). CASC assesses prejudicial beliefs, affirming attitudes, and willingness to seek mental healthcare. Four samples, two high school groups, college students, and hotel desk clerks, completed CASC immediately before and after a contact-based program. Two samples completed follow-up: one of the high school groups and the college students. CASC assesses stigma with a 9-item Attribution Questionnaire (AQ9), personal empowerment with a 3-item scale (ES), recovery orientation with a 3-item scale (RS), and psychological help seeking willingness with a 6-item questionnaire (CSQ). Internal consistencies ranged adequate to satisfactory for AQ9, ES, and CSQ. Concurrent validity was partially supported. Change sensitivity was demonstrated among at least half of each construct’s analyses. CASC seems a psychometrically valid way to efficiently monitor attitudinal and care seeking intentions changes. Outcome monitoring can strengthen contact-based anti-stigma programs, an emerging evidence-based practice.
    Community Mental Health Journal 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10597-014-9797-5 · 1.03 Impact Factor

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