Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 439–458 | Cite as

The Stigma of Psychiatric Disorders and the Gender, Ethnicity, and Education of the Perceiver

Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine how the demographics of perceivers influence their stigma of people with mental illness or with substance abuse. A nationally representative sample (N = 968) was asked to respond to a vignette describing a person with a health condition (schizophrenia, drug dependence, or emphysema) and his/her family member. Consistent with our hypotheses, women were less likely to endorse stigma than men. Participants with higher education were also less likely to stigmatize than less educated participants. Contrary to our expectations, nonwhite research participants were more likely to endorse stigma than whites. Implications of these findings for better understanding the stigma of mental illness, and the development of anti-stigma programs, are reviewed.

Keywords

stigma psychiatric disorders mental illness substance abuse 

References

  1. Angermeyer M. C., Schulze B., Dietrich S. (2003) Courtesy stigma: A focus group study of relatives of schizophrenia patients. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 38(10):593–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angermeyer, M. C., Matschinger, H., & Corrigan, P. W. (in press) Familiarity with and social distance from people who have a serious mental illness: A replication study based on a representative population survey. Schizophrenia Bulletin Google Scholar
  3. Augoustinos M., Ahrens C., Innes J. (1994) Stereotypes and prejudice: The Australian experience. British Journal of Social Psychology, 33(1):125–141Google Scholar
  4. Batson C., Chang J., Orr R., Rowland J. (2002) Empathy, attitudes and action: Can feeling for a member of a stigmatized group motivate one to help the group. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(12):1656–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brockington I. F., Hall P., Levings J., Murphy C. (1993) The community’s tolerance of the mentally ill. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162:93–99PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Cooper-Patrick L., Powe N. R., Jenckes M. W., Gonzales J. J., Levine D. M., Ford D. E. (1997) Identification of patient attitudes and preferences regarding treatment of depression. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 12:431–438PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Corrigan P. W. (2000) Mental health stigma as social attribution: Implications for research methods and attitude change. Clinical Psychology-Science & Practice, 7(1):48–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Corrigan, P. W. (Ed.). (2005). On the Stigma of Mental Illness: Implications for Research and Social Change. Washington, DC: American Psychological AssociationGoogle Scholar
  9. Corrigan P. W., Edwards A. B., Green A., Diwan S. L., Penn D. (2001) Prejudice, social distance, and familiarity with mental illness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 27:219–225PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Corrigan P. W., Green A., Lundin R., Kubiak M. A., Penn D. L. (2001) Familiarity with and social distance from people with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 52:953–958PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Corrigan, P. W., & Kleinlein, P. (2005). The impact of mental illness stigma, On the Stigma of Mental Illness: Implications for Research and Social Change, (pp.11–44). Washington, DC: American Psychological AssociationGoogle Scholar
  12. Corrigan, P. W., Lurie, B., Goldman, H., Slopen, N., Medasani, K., & Phelan, S. (2004). How adolescents perceive the stigma of mental illness. Psychiatric Services. Manuscript submitted for publicationGoogle Scholar
  13. Corrigan P. W., Markowitz F. E., Watson A. C., Rowan D., Kubiak M.A (2003) An attribution model of public discrimination towards persons with mental illness. Journal of Health & Social Behavior, 44(2):162–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Corrigan, P. W., & Miller, F. E. (2004). Shame, blame, and contamination: A review of the impact of mental illness stigma on family members. Psychological Bulletin. Manuscript submitted for publicationGoogle Scholar
  15. Corrigan, P. W., Penn, D. L. (1999) Lessons from social psychology on discrediting psychiatric stigma. The American Psychologist, 54(9):765–776.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corrigan P. W., River L., Lundin R. K., Penn D. L., Uphoff-Wasowski K., Campion J., Mathisen J., Gagnon C., Bergman M., Goldstein H., Kubiak M. A. (2001) Three strategies for changing attributions about severe mental illness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 27(2):187–195PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Corrigan P. W., River L., Lundin R. K., Uphoff Wasowski K., Campion J., Mathisen J., Goldstein H., Bergman M., Gagnon C., Kubiak M.A (2000) Stigmatizing attributions about mental illness. Journal of Community Psychology, 28(1):91–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Corrigan P. W., River L., Lundin R. K., Wasowski K. U., Campion J., Mathisen J., Goldstein H., Gagnon C., Bergman M., Kubiak M. A. (1999) Predictors of participation in campaigns against mental illness stigma. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 187(6):378–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Corrigan P. W., Rowan D., Green A., Lundin R., River L., Uphoff Wasowski K., White K., Kubiak M. A. (2002) Challenging two mental illness stigmas: Personal responsibility and dangerousness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 28:293–310PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Corrigan, P. W., Thompson, V., Lambert, D., Noel, J., & Campbell, J. (2003). Perceptions of discrimination among persons with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 54, 1105–1110PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Corrigan, P. W., Watson, A. C., & Miller, F. E. (2004). Blame, shame, and contamination: The impact of mental illness and substance abuse on family members. Journal of Health & Social Behavior. Manuscript submitted for publicationGoogle Scholar
  22. Crocker J., Major B., Steele C. (1998) Social stigma. In: Gilbert D. T., Fiske S. T., Lindzey G. (eds) The handbook of social psychology, vol 2 (4th ed). New York, McGraw-Hill, pp 504–553Google Scholar
  23. Devine P. G. (1995) Prejudice and out-group perception. In: Tessor A. (eds) Advanced social psychology. New York, McGraw-Hill, pp 467–524Google Scholar
  24. Esses V. M., Haddock G., Zanna M. P. (1994) The role of mood in the expression of intergroup stereotypes. In: Zanna M. P., Olson J. M. (eds) The psychology of prejudice: The Ontario symposium, Vol 7. Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum AssocGoogle Scholar
  25. Farina A. (1981) Are women nicer people than men? Sex and the stigma of mental disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 1:223–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Farina A. (1998) Stigma. In: Mueser K. T. Tarrier N. (eds) Handbook of social functioning in schizophrenia. Needham Heights MA, Allyn & Bacon Inc, pp 247–279Google Scholar
  27. Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  28. Hamilton D. L., Sherman J. W. (1994) Stereotypes. In: Wyer R. S., Srull T. K. (eds) Handbook of Social Cognition. Hillsdale NJ, ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  29. Hilton J. L., von Hippel W. (1996) Stereotypes. Annual Review of Psychology, 47:237–271PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hogan M. F. (2003) New Freedom Commission Report: The President’s New Freedom Commission: Recommendations to transform mental health care in America. Psychiatric Services, 54:1467–1474PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holmes E. P., Corrigan P. W., Williams P., Canar J., Kubiak M. (1999) Changing public attitudes about schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 25:447–456PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Judd C. M., Park B. (1993) Definition and assessment of accuracy in social stereotypes. Psychological Review, 100(1):109–128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jussim L., Nelson T. E., Manis M., Soffin S. (1995) Prejudice, stereotypes, and labeling effects: Sources of bias in person perception. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 68:228–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Keough K. A., Garcia J. (2000) Social psychology of gender, race and ethnicity: Readings and projects. New York, McGraw-HillGoogle Scholar
  35. Krosnick, J. A., & Chang, L. C. (2001). A comparison of the random digit dialing telephone survey method with internet survey method as implemented by Knowledge Networks and Harris Interactive. Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion ResearchGoogle Scholar
  36. Krueger J. (1996) Personal beliefs and cultural stereotypes about racial characteristics. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 71(3):536–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. LaFrance M., Henley N. M., Hall J. A., Halberstadt A. G. (1997) Nonverbal behavior: Are women’s superior skills caused by their oppression? In: Walsh M. R. (eds) Women, men, & gender: Ongoing debates. New Haven CT, Yale University Press, pp. 101–133Google Scholar
  38. Link B. G., Phelan J. C., Bresnahan M., Stueve A., Pescosolido B.A (1999) Public conceptions of mental illness: Labels, causes, dangerousness, and social distance. American Journal of Public Health, 89(9):1328–1333PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Matthews, A. K., Corrigan, P. W., Smith, B. M., & Rutherford, J. L. (in press). A qualitative exploration of attitudes toward mental illness treatment seeking among African Americans. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry Google Scholar
  40. Mullen B., Rozell D., Johnson, C. (1996) The phenomenology of being in a group: Complexity approaches to operationalizing cognitive representation. In: Nye J. L. Brower A. M. (eds) What’s social about social cognition? Research on socially shared cognition in small groups. Thousand Oaks CA, Sage Publications, pp 205–229Google Scholar
  41. Oestman M., Kjellin L. (2002) Stigma by association: Psychological factors in relatives of people with mental illness. British Journal of Psychiatry, 181(6):494–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ohaeri J. U., Fido A. A. (2001) The opinion of caregivers on aspects of schizophrenia and major affective disorders in a Nigerian setting. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36(10):493–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Penn D. L., Guynan K., Daily T., Spaulding W. D., Garbin C., Sullivan M. (1994) Dispelling the stigma of schizophrenia: What sort of information is best? Schizophrenia Bulletin, 20(3):567–578PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Phelan J. C., Bromet E. J., Link B. G. (1998) Psychiatric illness and family stigma. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 24(1):115–126PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Phillips M. R., Pearson V., Li F., Xu M., Yang, L. (2002) Stigma and expressed emotion: A study of people with schizophrenia and their family members in China. British Journal of Psychiatry, 181(6):488–493PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pratto F., Sidanius J., Stallworth L. M., Malle B. F. (2001) Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. In: Hogg M. A., Abrams D. (eds) Intergroup relations: Essential readings Key readings in social psychology. Philadelphia PA, Psychology Press, pp. 30–59Google Scholar
  47. Rush, L. (1998) Affective reactions to multiple social stigmas. Journal of Social Psychology, 138:421–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schieman S., Van Gundy, K. (2000) The personal and social links between age and self-reported empathy. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63(2):152–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schnittker J., Pescosolido B. A., Croghan T. W. (2005) Are African Americans really less willing to use health care? Social Problems, 52:255–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shibre T., Negash A., Kullgren G., Kebede D., Alem A., Fekadu A., Fekadu D., Medhin G., Jacobsson, L. (2001) Perception of stigma among family members of individuals with schizophrenia and major affective disorders in rural Ethiopia. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36(6):299–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Silver, E. (2000) Race, neighborhood disadvantage, and violence among persons with mental disorders: The importance of contextual measurement. Law & Human Behavior, 24(4):449–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Struening E. L., Perlick D. A., Link B. G., Hellman F., Herman D., Sirey J. A. (2001) Stigma as a barrier to recovery: The extent to which caregivers believe most people devalue consumers and their families. Psychiatric Services, 52(12):1633–1638PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Taylor S. M., Dear M. J. (1980) Scaling community attitudes toward the mentally ill. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 7:225–240Google Scholar
  54. Thompson E. H., Doll, W. (1982) The burden of families coping with the mentally ill: An invisible crisis. Family Relations, 31:379–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wahl O. F., Harman C. R. (1989) Family views of stigma. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 15(1):131–139PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Weiner B., Perry R. P., Magnusson, J. (1988) An attributional analysis of reactions to stigmas. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 55(5):738–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Weiner B. (1995) Judgments of responsibility: A foundation for a theory of social conduct. New York NY, The Guilford PressGoogle Scholar
  58. Whaley, A. (1997) Ethnic and racial differences in perceptions of dangerousness of persons with mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 48:1328–1330PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joint Research Programs in Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Illinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations