Online Program

How Culture Shapes and Protects against Mental Illness Stigma: Empirical Illustrations from Chinese Groups

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Lawrence Yang, PhD, Epidemiology Department, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mental illness stigma is known to vary by culture. Few theoretical formulations exist that describe how culture shapes the experience of stigma ‘across cultures.’  Dr. Yang will present a new theoretical framework that suggests ‘what matters most' -  meaning, the capacities that define what it means to be a full-fledged 'person' in cultural groups. He will discuss how this novel framework facilitates the identification and prediction of stigma's cultural effects.

 Dr. Yang will illustrate this theoretical framework with three studies: 1) qualitative study of 50 Chinese immigrants with psychosis; 2) national vignette study with 56 Chinese immigrants and 589 European Americans; and 3) experimental memory paradigm with 48 Chinese American and 37 European American college students.

 These studies provide new evidence that 'threat to lineage' constitutes a threat to 'what matters most' among Chinese groups - which exacerbates stigma in this population. Dr. Yang will also illustrate how these findings have important implications for culture-specific measurement and anti-stigma interventions in Chinese groups, and will discuss applications to other cultural settings (including Indian and Chilean).  

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how culture shapes the experience of stigma Describe factors, common ‘across cultures,’ that explain the impact of stigma on individuals. Discuss how ‘personhood’ facilitates the identification and prediction of stigma’s cultural effects.

Keyword(s): Minority Health, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Lawrence Yang is an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. Yang studies social processes that shape the course of schizophrenia within diverse cultural, and specifically Chinese immigrant, groups. Yang is an affiliated researcher at the NIH-funded, National Asian-American Center on Health Disparities at U.C. Davis and is the sole intervention researcher to study psychotic disorders among Asian-Americans nationally. NIMH awards and grants include eight Early Career Awards, five-year K01 and a five-year R01.
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.