Stigmatization and Self-Esteem of Persons in Recovery From Mental Illness: the Role of Peer Support

Department of Sociology, Ghent University.
International Journal of Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.15). 06/2008; 54(3):206-18. DOI: 10.1177/0020764008090422
Source: PubMed


Persons with mental health problems often experience stigmatization, which can have detrimental consequences for their objective and subjective quality of life. Previous research seeking for elements buffering this negative association focused on coping strategies and revealed that none of the most often used strategies is successful.
This article studies whether peer support among clients can moderate this negative link, and to what extent. Following the buffering hypothesis on stress and social support, it was expected that the association between stigmatization and self-esteem would be less among persons experiencing greater peer support.
This research problem was studied by means of ordinary least squares regression analysis using quantitative data from structured questionnaires completed by 595 clients of rehabilitation centres.
The results confirm that stigmatization is negatively related to self-esteem, while peer support is positively linked with it. Furthermore, they show that peer support moderates the negative association between stigmatization and self-esteem, but not in the expected way. These findings suggest that peer support can only have positive outcomes among clients with few stigma experiences, and that stigmatization itself could impede the formation and beneficial consequences of constructive peer relationships among persons receiving professional mental healthcare.

Download full-text


Available from: Piet F. Bracke
  • Source
    • "e Pesq., Brasília, Abr-Jun 2015, Vol. 31 n. 2, pp. 229-238 RG Soares et al. psicológicas desses indivíduos, tais como diminuição de auto-estima, autoconfiança e auto-eficácia, percepção de descrédito, sentimentos de vergonha, culpa, angústia, raiva ou autoreprovação (Corrigan & Watson, 2002; Corrigan et al., 2006), assim como gera várias implicações práticas na vida de um paciente, dentre as quais perspectivas limitadas de recuperação e restrição de redes sociais (Verhaeghe et al., 2008). Esses fatores podem levar ao isolamento, desemprego e ao baixo rendimento, influenciando na disposição dos sujeitos em procurar tratamento, pois, na tentativa de evitar que sua condição de saúde se torne pública, na maioria das vezes, eles não o procuram (Kanter et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Esse estudo teve como objetivo validar a escala Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness – ISMI adaptada para dependentes de substâncias psicoativas, no Brasil. A pesquisa foi conduzida com uma amostra de 299 dependentes de substâncias. O valor do alfa de Cronbach do escore total foi de 0,83 e o Coeficiente Spearman-Brown de 0,76. A validade de constructo, estimada pela Análise Fatorial Exploratória de Máxima Verossimilhança, demonstrou correlação estatisticamente significativa (p<0,01) entre a ISMI e as escalas CES-D (r=0,47), Escala de Esperança de Herth (r=-0,19) e Escala de Autoestima de Rosenberg (r=-0,48). A versão brasileira da ISMI demonstrou propriedades psicométricas satisfatórias e promete ser um instrumento útil para mensurar estigma internalizado entre dependentes de substâncias.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015
  • Source
    • "a higher level of wellness then that of themselves (Coatsworth- Puspoky, Forchuk, & Ward-Griffin, 2006). This may also serve to increase self-esteem and decrease perceived self-stigma of living with a mental illness since connecting with others who are similar to themselves or have achieved a greater level of recovery provide a model for wellness (Verhaeghe, et. al., 2008). The drive to pursue a greater understanding of the potential for recovery from serious mental illness emerged from consumers of mental health and psychiatric services, public health policies, and data from longitudinal studies. Research suggests that recovery occurs among many people suffering with debilitating psychiatric illnesses ("

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2012
  • Source
    • "However, a negative attitude that resulted in maintaining a significant distance from the labelled person was associated with student's self-esteem: students with lower self-esteem were more prone to input stigma into distant relationship, while those whose selfesteem was higher stigmatized in closer relationships. From the literature, we know that self-esteem is an important factor for the evaluation of self-stigma (Link et al., 2001; Verhaeghe et al., 2008), but little is known about the self-esteem of stigmatizers. Crandall and Cohen (1994) evaluated personality of stigmatizer and concluded that two factors predicted rejection: (1) a cynical world view, characterized by alienation, loneliness and little faith in people and (2) conventionalism, characterized by authoritarianism and a belief in a just world. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKROUND: Stigmatization of psychiatric patients is present both in the general population and among healthcare professionals. To determine the attitudes and behaviour of medical students towards a person who goes to a psychiatrist, before and after psychiatric rotation, and to compare those attitudes between medical and non-medical students. The study included 525 medical students (second and sixth year of studies) and 154 students of law. The study instrument was a three-part self-reported questionnaire (socio-demographic data, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and a vignette depicting a young, mentally healthy person). The experimental intervention consisted of ascribing a 'psychiatric label' to only one set of vignettes. All the vignettes (with or without the 'psychiatric label') were followed by 14 statements addressing the acceptance of a person described by vignette, as judged by social distance (four-point Likert scale). Higher tendency to stigmatize was found in medical students in the final year, after psychiatric rotation (Z(U) = -3.12, p = .002), particularly in a closer relationship (Z(U) = -2.67, p = .007) between a student and a hypothetical person who goes to a psychiatrist. The non-medical students had a similar tendency to stigmatize as medical students before psychiatric rotation (Z(U) = -0.03, p = .975). Neither gender, nor the size of student's place of origin or average academic mark was associated with the tendency to stigmatize in our sample. However, student's elf-esteem was lower in those with a tendency to stigmatize more in a distant relationship (ρ = -0.157, p = .005). Psychiatric education can either reinforce stigmatization or reduce it. Therefore, detailed analyses of educational domains that reinforce stigma will be the starting point for anti-stigma action.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · International Journal of Social Psychiatry
Show more