Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_395


Self-stigmatization is a component of the broader social phenomenon known as stigmatization. The process of stigmatization involves labeling differences as undesirable and can result in social exclusion, disempowerment, and discrimination. While any aspect of human experience can be stigmatized if deemed abnormal or undesirable, recent research in psychology has focused primarily on stigmatization of “mental illness.” In his foundational writing on stigma, Goffman (1963) identified the internal consequences for the stigmatized individual as self-devaluation. He explained that once labeled as “mentally ill,” individuals may conclude that they must act accordingly and take on the label as an identity. Link (1987) developed Modified Labeling Theory to explain the consequences of interacting with the mental health system, which can include obtaining a label, being rejected or marginalized as a result, and potentially internalizing the social meaning of that label. While these...

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Online Resources

  1. Chicago consortium for stigma research. http://www.iit.edu/psych/people/profiles/ccsr.shtml
  2. NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness – fight stigma. www.nami.org/stigma/.
  3. SAMHSA’s ADS Center – Substance Abuse and Mental Health. http://stopstigma.samhsa.gov/
  4. National Empowerment Center. http://www.power2u.org
  5. National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. http://mhselfhelp.org
  6. Mental Health Empowerment Network. http://www.mhepinc.org/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Counseling PsychologyAdler School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA