JOURNAL ARTICLE

DEPRESSION STIGMA, RACE, AND TREATMENT SEEKING BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES

Charlotte Brown, Kyaien O Conner, Valire Carr Copeland, Nancy Grote, Scott Beach, Deena Battista, Charles F Reynolds
Journal of Community Psychology 2010, 38 (3): 350-368
21274407
This study examined the relationship between internalized and public stigma on treatment-related attitudes and behaviors in a community sample of 449 African American and white adults aged 18 years and older. Telephone surveys were administered to assess level of depressive symptoms, demographic characteristics, stigma, and treatment-related attitudes and behaviors. Multiple regression analysis indicated that internalized stigma mediated the relationship between public stigma and attitudes toward mental health treatment. Within group analyses indicated that the mediating effect of internalized stigma was significant for whites only. Among African Americans, internalized stigma did not mediate public stigma; it was directly related to attitudes toward mental health treatment. The internalization of stigma is key in the development of negative attitudes toward mental health treatment, and future research should focus on this aspect of stigma in both individual and community-based efforts to reduce stigma.

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