Examining attribution model of self-stigma on social support and psychological well-being among people with HIV+/AIDS

Soc Sci Med. 2007 Apr;64(8):1549-59. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.12.003. Epub 2007 Jan 16.


Among various infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS is considered to be one of the most stigmatizing conditions. Using a prospective design, the present study attempted to test the attributional pathway from perceived control to responsibility to self-blame and finally to self-stigmatization, and to examine the social and psychological sequelae of stigma among a sample of 119 people with HIV/AIDS (PWHA) in Hong Kong. Structural equation modeling findings showed that the model had good fit to the data. Although the linkage between the attributions of control, responsibility, and blame was confirmed, the relationship of blame to self-stigma was not significant. Self-stigma was found to dampen social support and lead to psychological distress half a year later. The present study challenged the adequacy of attributional factors in understanding self-stigmatization and demonstrated the impact of stigma on psychological adjustment among PWHA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Prejudice*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires