There has been a proliferation of research on mental illness stigma; however, lack of consistency and clarity in the conceptualization and measurement of mental illness stigma has limited the accumulation of scientific knowledge about mental illness stigma and its consequences.
Health-related stigma frameworks typically focus on one health condition in isolation. This tendency encourages a siloed approach to research on health-related stigma, impeding comparisons across stigmatized conditions and research on innovations to reduce health-related stigma and improve health outcomes.
The MMT-SMS measures enacted stigma (experiences of discrimination from others in the past or present), anticipated stigma (expectations of experiencing discrimination from others in the future), and internalized stigma (endorsement and application of negative beliefs and feelings about people receiving methadone and applying them to the self) among people receiving methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). Enacted and anticipated stigma from family members, employers, and healthcare workers are measured. The scale may be adapted for persons experienced with other forms of medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorders.
Much of our work aims to understand and address stigma and health inequities across the HIV prevention and treatment cascade.
Stigma associated with substance use disorders is strong in the US, yet research aiming to understand and address this form of stigma is limited. Our lab is working on several projects related to stigma and substance use.
Some work suggests that bullying due to stigma is worse than bullying not due to stigma.
I developed the HIV Stigma Framework with Dr. Stephenie Chaudoir to describe how HIV stigma is experienced by individual people living with and without HIV as a series of stigma mechanisms that impact their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
In collaboration with Drs. Laura Bogart, Jack Dovidio, and David Williams, I developed the Stigma and HIV Disparities Model to describe how societal stigma related to race and ethnicity is associated with racial/ethnic HIV disparities via its manifestations at the structural level (e.g., residential segregation) as well as the individual level among perceivers (e.g., discrimination) and targets (e.g., internalized stigma).
This model describes ways in which social stigma is manifested at the sociocultural, interpersonal, and individual levels.
The CSI-Outcomes Model differentiates between two components of concealable stigmatized identities, including valenced content and magnitude, which we theorize are important for determining the impact of a concealable stigmatized identity on psychological, physical, and behavioral health outcomes.