197927 Social Stigma, Quality of Life, and Mental Health Among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China: An application of Structural Equation Modeling

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bo Wang, PhD , Department of Community Health Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Xiaoming Li, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Bonita Stanton, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
James McGuire, PhD , Department of Community Health Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Xiaoyi Fang, PhD , Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Shuli Yu, PhD , Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Abstract:

Background and Objective: Although global literature has revealed a potential negative impact of social stigma on both physical and mental health among stigmatized individuals, the mechanism through which social stigma affects the individual's quality of life and mental health is not clear.

Methods: Data were collected through a cross-sectional survey among 1,006 rural-to-urban migrants in 2004-2005 in Beijing, China. Participants reported on their perceived social stigma, discriminatory experiences in daily life, preparation for migration, discrepancy between expectation and reality, coping with stigma-related stress, perceptions of quality of life, and mental health symptoms. Structural equation modeling was performed to simultaneously examine the complex relationships among these variables.

Results: Perceived social stigma and discriminatory experiences not only had direct negative effect on quality of life and mental health among rural-to-urban migrants, but also had an indirect effect through discrepancy between expectation and reality and coping skills on their quality of life and mental health. Discrepancy between expectation and reality was negatively related to quality of life and mental health. Rather, coping skills was positively related to quality of life and mental health. Preparation of migration was related to both discrepancy between expectation and reality and coping skills.

Conclusion: Perceived social stigma and daily discriminatory experiences have a significant influence on quality of life and mental health among rural-to-urban migrants. Future interventions should seek to improve public attitudes to rural-to-urban migrants through educational efforts, to generate policy to eliminate discrimination against migrants, and to establish effective coping skills among migrants.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the mechanism through which social stigma affects the migrantsí quality of life and mental health. Discuss with colleagues about other research gaps in this area.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an assistant professor in public health and have been conducting research in this area for three years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.