Stigma: a Unique Source of Distress for Family Members of Individuals with Mental Illness
- 2.6k Downloads
To distinguish the impact of mental illness stigma from that of other negative caregiving experiences, this study examined the unique relationships between stigma and caregiver/family functioning. Adult relatives (n = 437) of individuals with mental illness completed questionnaires regarding caregiving experiences, distress, empowerment, and family functioning, as part of a larger study. Regression analyses examined the relationship between stigma and caregiver/family variables, while controlling for other negative caregiving experiences. Stigma was uniquely associated with caregiver distress, empowerment, and family functioning. Mental illness stigma is a potent source of distress for families and an important target of family services.
KeywordsStigma Mental illness Family Caregiver burden
This project was supported by grant 1R01-MH72667-01A1 from the National Institute of Mental Health. This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Healthcare System. The authors extend sincere thanks to the Maryland NAMI affiliates and FTF teachers, and to study participants, without whose assistance, this investigation would not have been possible.
Conflict of Interest
The authors of this manuscript report no conflicts of interest with regard to the content of this manuscript.
- 4.Uebelacker LA, Whisman MA. Moderators of the association between relationship discord and major depression in a national population-based sample. Journal of Family Psychology 2006; 20(1): 40.Google Scholar
- 14.Lazarus RS, Folkman S. Stress, Appraisal, and Coping. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1984.Google Scholar
- 19.Derogatis LR. BSI-18: Administration, Scoring and Procedures Manual. New York: NCS Pearson, 2001.Google Scholar
- 25.McCubbin HI, Thompson AI, McCubbin MA. Family Problem-Solving Communication (FPSC). In: HI McCubbin, AI Thompson, MA McCubbin (Eds). Family Assessment: Resiliency, Coping and Adaptation - Inventories for Research and Practice. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1996.Google Scholar