Article

The psychological implications of concealing a stigma: A cognitive-affective-behavioral model [Electronic version]

Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 04/2007; 133(2):328-45. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.2.328
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Many assume that individuals with a hidden stigma escape the difficulties faced by individuals with a visible stigma. However, recent research has shown that individuals with a concealable stigma also face considerable stressors and psychological challenges. The ambiguity of social situations combined with the threat of potential discovery makes possessing a concealable stigma a difficult predicament for many individuals. The increasing amount of research on concealable stigmas necessitates a cohesive model for integrating relevant findings. This article offers a cognitive-affective-behavioral process model for understanding the psychological implications of concealing a stigma. It ends with discussion of potential points of intervention in the model as well as potential future routes for investigation of the model.

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Available from: John Pachankis, Mar 01, 2014
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    • "Alessi, Meyer, and Martin (2013) found that non-life-threatening traumatic events can still produce symptoms of PTSD and concluded that adherence to the DSM definition results in many PTSD-like disorders being missed. Therefore, although the present research did evaluate symptoms of PTSD in relation to participants' most stressful life experience, we did not assess DSM criterion A. Fears of negative evaluation are core cognitions of social phobia, and considering the societal stigma surrounding minority sexual orientation , it is easy to understand why a sexual minority person may hide a core aspect of himself in order to avoid negative evaluation and rejection (Pachankis, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual minorities face greater exposure to discrimination and rejection than heterosexuals. Given these threats, sexual minorities may engage in sexual orientation concealment in order to avoid danger. This social stigma and minority stress place sexual minorities at risk for anxiety and related disorders. Given that three fourths of anxiety disorder onset occurs before the age of 24, the current study investigated the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression in sexual minority young adults relative to their heterosexual peers. Secondarily, the study investigated sexual orientation concealment as a predictor of anxiety and related disorders. A sample of 157 sexual minority and 157 heterosexual young adults matched on age and gender completed self-report measures of the aforementioned disorders, and indicated their level of sexual orientation concealment. Results revealed that sexual minority young adults reported greater symptoms relative to heterosexuals across all outcome measures. There were no interactions between sexual minority status and gender, however, women had higher symptoms across all disorders. Sexual minority young women appeared to be at the most risk for clinical levels of anxiety and related disorders. In addition, concealment of sexual orientation significantly predicted symptoms of social phobia. Implications are offered for the cognitive and behavioral treatment of anxiety and related disorders in this population.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2016
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    • "Research also supports the idea that non-minority groups experience more negative effects from stigma compared to minority groups because solely having a concealable stigmatized identity is thought to cause more distress in people than having an obvious identity, or both an obvious and concealable identity causes (Frable et al. 1998). Specifically, people with concealable identities (i.e., mental illness, criminal record) must manage the anxiety of whether to disclose their identity to others, a decision that must be made in various contexts, some of which could seriously impact life opportunities (Quinn 2006;Pachankis 2007). Caucasian inmates who anticipate a great deal of stigma may be especially at risk for difficulties adjusting to the community after release, as decisions about disclosure of their criminal record may inhibit them more than African-American inmates from engaging in their community. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research has rarely considered criminal offenders’ psychological responses to stigma, but these responses may significantly influence behavior after release from jail/prison. Jail inmates’ perceived and anticipated stigma was assessed prior to release from jail/prison (N = 163), and outcomes were assessed one year post-release (N = 371). We hypothesized that perceived stigma would predict poor adjustment in several domains (i.e., recidivism, substance dependence, mental health symptoms, community adjustment) through anticipated stigma. Results showed that perceived stigma predicted worse community adjustment through anticipated stigma, and this varied by race. Results are explored from an interdisciplinary perspective.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Deviant Behavior
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    • "Public stigma impacts the self in three ways; enacted stigma which is the destructive handling of an individual having stigmatized condition; felt stigma which is the knowledge of anticipated stigmatization on the part of the individual with a stigmatized condition and though internalized stigma which is the lessening of self-worth and associated psychological agony experienced by CWHA condition (Herek,[15]. Apprehensions regarding who to tell and the distress of being discovered are substantial sources of psychological anguish among children who hide their HIV/AIDS status Panchankis[16]for instance children who could possibly organized as a result where as those who disclose their HIV/AIDS conditions do not undergo through nervousness their attempt to disclose their concerns they still must withstand the probability of continually being humiliated in the eyes of the teachers and their schoolmates without HIV/AIDS[17]. Herek, Saha and Burack[18]carried a study to establish how felt and self-stigma impact on the psychological wellbeing of CWHA. "
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