Stigma resistance in patients with schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Bulletin
I SibitzM Amering


An individual's capacity to counteract the stigma of mental illness, stigma resistance (SR), is considered as playing a crucial role in fighting stigma. However, little is known about SR and its correlates in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Exploring SR in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. One hundred fifty-seven participants completed the "Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness" (ISMI) Scale including its subscale on SR. Measures of perceived devaluation and discrimination, depression, self-esteem, empowerment, quality of life, and demographic and clinical variables were obtained. Two-thirds of all patients showed high SR. SR correlated positively with self-esteem, empowerment, and quality of life and negatively with stigma measures and depression. A social network with a sufficient number of friends, being single or married, in contrast to being separated, as well as receiving outpatient treatment, was associated with higher SR. SR is a new and promising concept. The development of stigma-resisting beliefs might help individuals in their hope of finding a fulfilling life and in their recovery from mental illness.


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