Stigma & Prejudice

See also:    Discrimination    Psychiatry    Sociology   







Internet Resources

Understanding that prejudicial thinking can be greatly diminished through commitment and education will bring people together to successfully solve this shared problem.
CineMania: the combined effect of exploitation movies and news reports which stereotype users of mental health services leading to the implied conclusion that all people labeled mentally-ill are violent and deranged.
Associating mental illness with violence helps to perpetuate stigmatizing and discriminatory practices against mentally ill persons; it is only one of many negative stereotypes and common prejudicial attitudes about them.
Julio Arboleda-Flórez
'In psychological terms, the stereotype is a necessary expression of collective identity, often confirming aggressive or defensive intent, but always confiscating the other.'
Daniel Dunne
The initial opportunity to express stereotypes without censure accentuated stereotype application, but only for highly prejudiced participants rating a woman who acted in an ambiguously stereotypical (i.e. unassertive) manner.
Kerry Kawakami et al
There is very little risk of violence or harm from casual contact with an individual who has a mental disorder....To put this all in perspective, the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.
David Satcher
This paper reports the results of a study of felt and enacted stigma among a sample of parents of children with high functioning autism. The results indicate that a majority of the parents experienced both types of stigma, but that mothers were more likely to do so than fathers. This was especially true in the case of enacted stigma, where a majority of mothers, but only a minority of fathers, encountered avoidance, hostile staring and rude comments from others. The child's type of autistic symptoms was also related to the stigmatisation of their parents, with parents of aggressive children more likely to experience stigma than the parents of passive children.
David E. Gray
Success in health care has never been solely about resolving the physical manifestations of disease. Illness cuts a wide path of destruction that can affect many of the determinants of health: socioeconomic status, housing, employment, and social support. Stigma is at least as important as socioeconomic status in determining outcome,
Pfizer Journal
Many people choose to not pursue mental health services because they do not want to be labeled a mental patient nor do they wish to suffer the prejudice and discrimination this label entails.
Amy C. Watson, Patrick W. Corrigan
Interventions against stigma and discrimination toward those with mental illness can be effective. Special emphasis should be placed on achieving a more positive media portrayal of people with mental illness and on promoting personal contact with them.
Wolfgang Gaebel, Anja E Baumann
Whereas (professionals) are solicitous in managing stigma, they implicitly attribute a relative passivity to clients, who may become trapped in their homes by other villagers' twitching curtains, whispering and cold-shouldering.
...automatic stereotypes and prejudice are influenced by self- and social motives, specific strategies, the perceiver's focus of attention, and configuration of stimulation, and the configuration of stimulus cues.
Irene V. Blair
all the efforts and successes of the scientific community are critically undermined by the presence of a persistent, widespread societal stigma against mental illness. An afflicted individual suffers the additional burden of being stereotyped as violent, different from "normal" people, unstable, unreliable, beyond medical help, weak, or responsible for his or her condition.
Shaheen Lakhan et al
The stigma of having a chronic illness affects the person's self-concept, capacity to adapt to illness and the quality of his/her social networks. Social stigma is a de-legitimising social process derived from popular and medical views of chronic illness.
Neville Millen, Christopher Walker
These families conveyed to others that the disability was just one more characteristic of the person rather than the only one. By openly discussing their children's strengths and needs, the parents contributed to reducing the disability stigma.
Ann Turnbull et al
Shaw quotes the knee-jerk reaction to her book about her postnatal depression: "how can we believe this person's account to be credible when she says herself she was suffering from severe depression at the time".
Peter Byrne
The stigma that results from seeing psychiatrists, psychologists, or psychiatric social workers is a strong argument in favor of instead consulting friends, family, or nonprofessional counselors...
Lawrence Stevens
More than 40 negative consequences of stigma have been identified,2 including discrimination in housing, education and employment and increased feelings of hopelessness.
Barbara Hocking
Although, for some people, the tendency to stereotype others might be difficult to control, other people may successfully overcome this tendency by implementing self-regulatory processes.
Tadesse Araya, Nazar Akrami, Bo Ekehammar, Lars-Erik Hedlund
The way to reduce stigma is through increasing community acceptance of mental illness and knowledge of mental illness. Stigma must be reduced at different levels operating simultaneously: service delivery, community and individual.
Leena Bakshi, Rosie Rooney, Krissa O'Neil
Recent social, economic and demographic changes have brought a series of challenges to the elderly, which jeopardize their role in society. Older people with mental disorders therefore carry a double burden which merits special attention.
Old Age Psychiatry Section, World Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization
A core contention is that interactionist theories of deviance and stigma alike focused almost exclusively on institutional and symbolic orders and paid scant attention to social structures and axes of power.
Graham Scambler
Warning people that others may be privy to their responses may actually increase prejudice among the very people who are most worried about doing the wrong thing in public.
Alan J. Lambert et al
Most differences between people are ignored as irrelevant. Yet some characteristics -- most typically age, gender and skin colour -- are taken to represent 'natural', or objective, categories of difference.
Michael Smith
The term 'stigma' means a mark or sign of disgrace or discredit, and 'to stigmatise' means to regard a person as unworthy or disgraceful. The consequences of being regarded in such a way include shame, humiliation, ostracism and despair.
Vaughan Carr, Sean Halpin
Strong evidence from previous research indicates that the caregiving role is very demanding, is frequently distressing, and may be harmful to health and injurious to one's quality of life. The addition of a community that is perceived to be rejecting makes life even more difficult for the caregivers and families of people with serious mental disorders. The development and implementation of effective interventions to create more supportive and understanding communities would be a challenging and worthwhile endeavor.
Elmer L. Struening et al
Discrimination focuses attention on the producers of rejection and exclusion -- those who discriminate against others for any number of reasons. Stigma, on the other hand, directs attention to the people who are the recipients of these behaviors. Stigma is society's negative evaluation of particular features or behavior.
Suzanne Peyton
While respondents cited a variety of sources of stigma, most frequently mentioned were the attitudes and practices of the mental health system and its workforce.
Deborah E. Reidy
Although group homes for people with mental illness are nearly always opposed, once they are established and the community members get to know their new neighbors, the stigma, almost without exception, vanishes.
Rosalyn Carter
...psychiatrists reacted to vignettes differently if the person had been given the diagnosis of a personality disorder: once labelled, primary diagnoses differed and value judgements (e.g. "manipulative", "likely to annoy") appeared more frequently.
Peter Byrne
Dislike of psychiatric patients by doctors is not a new finding: Sivakumar reported that 28% of medical students (n=88) believed psychiatric patients were 'not easy to like', but as doctors two years later, this rose to 56%.
Peter Byrne
The core virtue of a broadly inclusive statute, focused on stigma rather than impairment, is that it would not rely on biomedical classification to determine who should be protected from discrimination.
David Wasserman
Respondents commonly perceived people with schizophrenia, alcoholism and drug addiction as unpredictable and dangerous.The two latter conditions were also viewed as self-inflicted.
Arthur H. Crisp et al
So an autistic character in a film is likely to be a sort of void onto which anything -- or nothing -- can be projected. At best it's lazy writing and lazy storytelling on the base of unthinking acceptance of stereotype.
Cal Montgomery
Both stereotype activation and stereotype application during interaction depend on strength of comprehension and self-enhancement goals that can be satisfied by stereotyping one's interaction partner and on strength of one's motivation to avoid prejudice.
Ziva Kunda, Steven J. Spencer

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