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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Jason B. Luoma.

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Luoma, J.B., Nobles, R.H., Drake, C.E. et al. Self-Stigma in Substance Abuse: Development of a New Measure. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 35, 223–234 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-012-9323-4

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Keywords

  • Stigma
  • Substance misuse
  • Psychometric
  • Measure development