Self-Stigma in Substance Abuse: Development of a New Measure

  • Jason B. LuomaEmail author
  • Richard H. Nobles
  • Chad E. Drake
  • Steven C. Hayes
  • Alyssa O’Hair
  • Lindsay Fletcher
  • Barbara S. Kohlenberg


Little attention has been paid to the examination and measurement of self-stigma in substance misuse. This paper aims to fill this gap by reporting on the development of a new scale to measure self-stigma experienced by people who are misusing substances, the Substance Abuse Self-Stigma Scale. Content validity and item refinement occurred through an iterative process involving a literature search, focus groups, and expert judges. Psychometric properties were examined in a cross-sectional study of individuals (n = 352) receiving treatment for substance misuse. Factor analyses resulted in a 40-item measure with self devaluation, fear of enacted stigma, stigma avoidance, and values disengagement subscales. The measure showed a strong factor structure and good reliability and validity overall, though the values disengagement subscale showed a mixed pattern. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for studies of stigma impact and intervention.


Stigma Substance misuse Psychometric Measure development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason B. Luoma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard H. Nobles
    • 1
  • Chad E. Drake
    • 1
  • Steven C. Hayes
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alyssa O’Hair
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lindsay Fletcher
    • 2
    • 3
  • Barbara S. Kohlenberg
    • 4
  1. 1.Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Training CenterPortlandUSA
  2. 2.University of NevadaRenoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychology/296University of NevadaRenoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Nevada School of MedicineRenoUSA

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