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Implicit self-stigma in people with mental illness


Rüsch, N; Corrigan, P W; Todd, A R; Bodenhausen, G V (2010). Implicit self-stigma in people with mental illness. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198(2):150-153.

Abstract

People with mental illness often internalize negative stereotypes, resulting in self-stigma and low self-esteem ("People with mental illness are bad and therefore I am bad, too"). Despite strong evidence for self-stigma's negative impact as assessed by self-report measures, it is unclear whether self-stigma operates in an automatic, implicit manner, potentially outside conscious awareness and control. We therefore assessed (i) negative implicit attitudes toward mental illness and (ii) low implicit self-esteem using 2 Brief Implicit Association Tests in 85 people with mental illness. Implicit self-stigma was operationalized as the product of both implicit measures. Explicit self-stigma and quality of life were assessed by self-report. Greater implicit and explicit self-stigma independently predicted lower quality of life after controlling for depressive symptoms, diagnosis, and demographic variables. Our results suggest that implicit self-stigma is a measurable construct and is associated with negative outcomes. Attempts to reduce self-stigma should take implicit processes into account.

Abstract

People with mental illness often internalize negative stereotypes, resulting in self-stigma and low self-esteem ("People with mental illness are bad and therefore I am bad, too"). Despite strong evidence for self-stigma's negative impact as assessed by self-report measures, it is unclear whether self-stigma operates in an automatic, implicit manner, potentially outside conscious awareness and control. We therefore assessed (i) negative implicit attitudes toward mental illness and (ii) low implicit self-esteem using 2 Brief Implicit Association Tests in 85 people with mental illness. Implicit self-stigma was operationalized as the product of both implicit measures. Explicit self-stigma and quality of life were assessed by self-report. Greater implicit and explicit self-stigma independently predicted lower quality of life after controlling for depressive symptoms, diagnosis, and demographic variables. Our results suggest that implicit self-stigma is a measurable construct and is associated with negative outcomes. Attempts to reduce self-stigma should take implicit processes into account.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:31 Jan 2011 16:24
Last Modified:17 Feb 2018 18:19
Publisher:Lippincott Wiliams & Wilkins
ISSN:0022-3018
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181cc43b5
PubMed ID:20145491

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