Shame, blame, and contamination: A review of the impact of mental illness 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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    • "The negative expectations, attitudes, and beliefs towards this group (e.g., a person with mental illness is less intel‐ ligent, less competent, more dangerous, less trustworthy, or less predictable) can, in have reported experiencing negative treatment and social exclusion, avoiding social interactions, and spending energy and resources to conceal their relationship with their family members with mental illness as well (Larson & Corrigan, 2008). Additional‐ ly, family members of people with mental illness have reported being blamed for the onset of their family members' mental illness, being held responsible for relapses, and being seen as incapable by members of their community (Corrigan et al., 2006). Stigma by association is also known to affect how family members of people with men‐ tal illness view their family member with mental illness and these attitudes have been found to impact interpersonal relations and closeness within the family (Crowe & Lyness, 2013; Kreisman & Joy, 1974). "
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    ABSTRACT: Dissertation on stigma by association among family members of perople with mental illness Maastricht University june 11th 2015
    1st edited by R.L.M. van der Sanden, 06/2015; Datawyse., ISBN: 9789461594341
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    • "The majority of the studies included in this review indicate that vulnerability to shame is associated with increased drug and alcohol use in young people. Some research suggests that feelings of shame can arise as a consequence of using substances (Arentzen, 1978; Blume, 1990; Cook, 1987; Corrigan, Watson & Miller, 2006; Fossum & Mason, 1986; Luoma et al., 2007; O'Connor et al., 1994; Reed, 1987), and, of the papers reviewed here, one suggests that, amongst those who already use substances problematically, shame may have a positive impact by increasing motivation to seek treatment. In their study of 188 16–24 year-olds entering treatment for moderately-problematic substance use, Rosenkranz et al. (2012) found that those individuals who reported greater shame-proneness were more likely to recognize their substance use as problematic and to seek treatment. "
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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.
    PeerJ 01/2015; 3(6). DOI:10.7717/peerj.737 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    • "The interview protocol was derived from existing literature on stigmatisation and SBA (e.g. Angermeyer et al., 2003; Corrigan et al., 2006), validated scales for assessing experiences of SBA and psychological distress (e.g. Mental Health Inventory, Veit & Ware, 1983; Stigma-by-association scale, Pryor et al., 2012), and previously used protocols (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: People with mental illness are not the sole recipients of stigmatisation; their immediate family members may be subjected to stigma by association. Through semi-structured interviews, we investigated experiences of stigma by association among 23 immediate family members of people with mental illness. Participants reported experiencing stigma by association from community members, mental health professionals, and civil servants. Familial relationship, co-residence, and the gender of participants appeared to play a role in their stigma experiences; parents and spouses reported different manifestations of stigma by association than siblings and children, participants who lived together with their family member with mental illness reported increased experiences of stigma by association, and in contrast to male participants, female participants reported others thinking they are overprotective and as such perpetuated, maintained, or sustained their family members' mental illness. The relevance of these factors points to the need for tailored education and emotional support provision to family members of people with mental illness. Moreover, in-service training for mental health professionals should include the development of relevant social skills that enable the recognition of familial relationships and roles, and family members' fears, concerns, and problems. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/casp.2221 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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