Online Program

Stigma context for youth: Evidence from 16 Texas schools

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Bruce Link, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Fatimatou Bah, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Jo C. Phelan, PhD, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Kay Barkin, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX
Melissa DuPont-Reyes, MPH, Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Camille Patterson, PhD, MHMR of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX
Kris Painter, PhD, LCSW, MHMR of Tarrant County, Forth Worth, TX
There is substantial evidence that stigma and discrimination have disadvantaged people with mental illnesses with respect to many important life circumstances, including employment, income, social network ties, quality of life, mastery, self esteem, depressive symptoms, and access to medical and mental health services. A compelling rationale can be developed for addressing the issue of mental illness stigma relatively early in life. Unfortunately, there is relatively little research on children's knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about mental illnesses and therefore relatively few well established measures that can be applied in studies of youth to determine whether or not interventions designed to improve attitudes and behaviors are indeed effective. We capitalized on existing measures and developed a comprehensive multi-pronged approach to assessment of the stigma related attitudes and behaviors of youth. We applied our approach in the context of 16 schools in Texas that are diverse with respect to race, ethnic origin, religion and socioeconomic circumstances. Based on survey conducted with 721 6th graders from 16 schools, this presentation provides an assessment of the psychometric properties of the measures we created, tests their reliability and construct validity overall and within groups defined by gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and school context. The paper further describes the landscape of attitudes and behaviors that interventions confront in seeking to alter attitudes and behaviors for the better.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the need for mental illness stigma interventions Identify appropriate measures for assessing stigma reduction Describe ethnic and socioeconomic differences in knowledge attitudes and beliefs about mental illnesses

Keyword(s): Interventions, Mental Illness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Link has been principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the nature and consequences of stigma for people with mental illnesses (PWMI). His empirical work has traced the ways in which stigma affects the social functioning of PWMI in terms of work, social networks and feelings of social worth and public views about mental illness. Dr. Link has expertise in research on stigma and experience conducting large field-based evaluations.
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.