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Self-stigma, group identification, perceived legitimacy of discrimination and mental health service use

  • Nicolas Rüsch (a1), Patrick W. Corrigan (a1), Abigail Wassel (a1), Patrick Michaels (a1), Jonathon E. Larson (a1), Manfred Olschewski (a2), Sandra Wilkniss (a3) and Karen Batia (a4)...

Summary

Stigma may interfere with mental health service use. We measured self-stigma and stigma-related cognitions (group identification and perceived legitimacy of discrimination) at baseline in 85 people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective or affective disorders. After 6 months, 75 (88%) had reported use of mental health services. Controlling for baseline psychopathology, perceived stigma and diagnosis, low perceived legitimacy of discrimination predicted use of counselling/psychotherapy. Strong group identification was associated with participation in mutual-help groups. More self-stigma predicted psychiatric hospitalisation. Cognitive indicators of stigma resilience may predict out-patient service use, whereas self-stigma may increase the risk of psychiatric hospitalisation.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Nicolas Rüsch, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Hauptstr. 5, 79104 Freiburg, Germany. Email: nicolas.ruesch@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Footnotes

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Our work was supported by a Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship of the EU to N.R. and by funding from the NIAA, NIMH and the Fogarty International Center to P.W.C.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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1 Corrigan, PW. How stigma interferes with mental health care. Am Psychol 2004; 59: 614–25.
2 Schomerus, G, Angermeyer, MC. Stigma and its impact on help-seeking for mental disorders: what do we know? Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc 2008; 17: 31–7.
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9 Schmader, T, Major, B, Eccleston, CP, McCoy, SK. Devaluing domains in response to threatening intergroup comparisons: perceived legitimacy and the status value asymmetry. J Pers Soc Psychol 2001; 80: 782–96.
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Self-stigma, group identification, perceived legitimacy of discrimination and mental health service use

  • Nicolas Rüsch (a1), Patrick W. Corrigan (a1), Abigail Wassel (a1), Patrick Michaels (a1), Jonathon E. Larson (a1), Manfred Olschewski (a2), Sandra Wilkniss (a3) and Karen Batia (a4)...
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