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Predictors of depression stigma.

Griffiths KM, Christensen H, Jorm AF - BMC Psychiatry (2008)

Bottom Line: These findings differed from those for perceived stigma except for psychological distress which was associated with both higher personal and higher perceived stigma.Remoteness of residence was not associated with either type of stigma.The findings highlight the importance of treating the concepts of personal and perceived stigma separately in designing measures of stigma, in interpreting the pattern of findings in studies of the predictors of stigma, and in designing, interpreting the impact of and disseminating interventions for stigma.

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Affiliation: Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia. kathy.griffiths@anu.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: To investigate and compare the predictors of personal and perceived stigma associated with depression.

Method: Three samples were surveyed to investigate the predictors: a national sample of 1,001 Australian adults; a local community sample of 5,572 residents of the Australian Capital Territory and Queanbeyan aged 18 to 50 years; and a psychologically distressed subset (n = 487) of the latter sample. Personal and Perceived Stigma were measured using the two subscales of the Depression Stigma Scale. Potential predictors included demographic variables (age, gender, education, country of birth, remoteness of residence), psychological distress, awareness of Australia's national depression initiative beyondblue, depression literacy and level of exposure to depression. Not all predictors were used for all samples.

Results: Personal stigma was consistently higher among men, those with less education and those born overseas. It was also associated with greater current psychological distress, lower prior contact with depression, not having heard of a national awareness raising initiative, and lower depression literacy. These findings differed from those for perceived stigma except for psychological distress which was associated with both higher personal and higher perceived stigma. Remoteness of residence was not associated with either type of stigma.

Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of treating the concepts of personal and perceived stigma separately in designing measures of stigma, in interpreting the pattern of findings in studies of the predictors of stigma, and in designing, interpreting the impact of and disseminating interventions for stigma.

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Relationship between Personal stigma and level of contact (based on modified Level of Contact Report [24]).
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Figure 1: Relationship between Personal stigma and level of contact (based on modified Level of Contact Report [24]).

Mentions: As has been reported in previous studies [2,5], self reported contact with depression was associated with lower personal stigma and lower social distance. However, family members (Sample 1) and members of the general community with higher levels of contact with depression (Sample 2) reported higher levels of perceived stigma. It is not clear whether this effect results from a greater exposure by those in closer contact to instances of stigma and discrimination directed at people with depression or a greater sensitivity to such events or both. By contrast, people self-reporting a history of depression in the national sample showed both lower personal stigma/social distance and lower perceived stigma. If exposure to stigma were critical in yielding higher levels of perceived stigma, it might have been expected that, like family members, this group would show higher perceived stigma. It may be that participants in the face-to-face survey who were willing to report a history of depression were those who perceived less stigma in the community and hence less reason to conceal their history of illness. Equally, it is possible that the association between personal stigma/social distance and self-reported depression was affected by the respondents' willingness to self-disclose the presence of depression, particularly given that one of the personal stigma items was "If I had a problem like John's I would not tell anyone". Finally, the finding that providers of mental health services show less personal stigma in both the national and community samples is of interest given the often cited claim that stigma is high among providers. In fact, health providers ranked lowest on personal stigma of all levels of contact for Sample 2 (see Figure 1).


Predictors of depression stigma.

Griffiths KM, Christensen H, Jorm AF - BMC Psychiatry (2008)

Relationship between Personal stigma and level of contact (based on modified Level of Contact Report [24]).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2386456&req=5

Figure 1: Relationship between Personal stigma and level of contact (based on modified Level of Contact Report [24]).
Mentions: As has been reported in previous studies [2,5], self reported contact with depression was associated with lower personal stigma and lower social distance. However, family members (Sample 1) and members of the general community with higher levels of contact with depression (Sample 2) reported higher levels of perceived stigma. It is not clear whether this effect results from a greater exposure by those in closer contact to instances of stigma and discrimination directed at people with depression or a greater sensitivity to such events or both. By contrast, people self-reporting a history of depression in the national sample showed both lower personal stigma/social distance and lower perceived stigma. If exposure to stigma were critical in yielding higher levels of perceived stigma, it might have been expected that, like family members, this group would show higher perceived stigma. It may be that participants in the face-to-face survey who were willing to report a history of depression were those who perceived less stigma in the community and hence less reason to conceal their history of illness. Equally, it is possible that the association between personal stigma/social distance and self-reported depression was affected by the respondents' willingness to self-disclose the presence of depression, particularly given that one of the personal stigma items was "If I had a problem like John's I would not tell anyone". Finally, the finding that providers of mental health services show less personal stigma in both the national and community samples is of interest given the often cited claim that stigma is high among providers. In fact, health providers ranked lowest on personal stigma of all levels of contact for Sample 2 (see Figure 1).

Bottom Line: These findings differed from those for perceived stigma except for psychological distress which was associated with both higher personal and higher perceived stigma.Remoteness of residence was not associated with either type of stigma.The findings highlight the importance of treating the concepts of personal and perceived stigma separately in designing measures of stigma, in interpreting the pattern of findings in studies of the predictors of stigma, and in designing, interpreting the impact of and disseminating interventions for stigma.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia. kathy.griffiths@anu.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: To investigate and compare the predictors of personal and perceived stigma associated with depression.

Method: Three samples were surveyed to investigate the predictors: a national sample of 1,001 Australian adults; a local community sample of 5,572 residents of the Australian Capital Territory and Queanbeyan aged 18 to 50 years; and a psychologically distressed subset (n = 487) of the latter sample. Personal and Perceived Stigma were measured using the two subscales of the Depression Stigma Scale. Potential predictors included demographic variables (age, gender, education, country of birth, remoteness of residence), psychological distress, awareness of Australia's national depression initiative beyondblue, depression literacy and level of exposure to depression. Not all predictors were used for all samples.

Results: Personal stigma was consistently higher among men, those with less education and those born overseas. It was also associated with greater current psychological distress, lower prior contact with depression, not having heard of a national awareness raising initiative, and lower depression literacy. These findings differed from those for perceived stigma except for psychological distress which was associated with both higher personal and higher perceived stigma. Remoteness of residence was not associated with either type of stigma.

Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of treating the concepts of personal and perceived stigma separately in designing measures of stigma, in interpreting the pattern of findings in studies of the predictors of stigma, and in designing, interpreting the impact of and disseminating interventions for stigma.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus