Stigma resistance in patients with schizophrenia

Schizophr Bull. 2011 Mar;37(2):316-23. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbp048. Epub 2009 Jun 1.


Background: An individual's capacity to counteract the stigma of mental illness, stigma resistance (SR), is considered as playing a crucial role in fighting stigma. However, little is known about SR and its correlates in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

Aim: Exploring SR in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

Method: One hundred fifty-seven participants completed the "Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness" (ISMI) Scale including its subscale on SR. Measures of perceived devaluation and discrimination, depression, self-esteem, empowerment, quality of life, and demographic and clinical variables were obtained.

Results: Two-thirds of all patients showed high SR. SR correlated positively with self-esteem, empowerment, and quality of life and negatively with stigma measures and depression. A social network with a sufficient number of friends, being single or married, in contrast to being separated, as well as receiving outpatient treatment, was associated with higher SR.

Conclusions: SR is a new and promising concept. The development of stigma-resisting beliefs might help individuals in their hope of finding a fulfilling life and in their recovery from mental illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Power, Psychological
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / therapy
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Stigma*
  • Social Support