Measuring the internalized stigma of parents of persons with a serious mental illness: the factor structure of the parents' internalized stigma of mental illness scale

Yaara Zisman-Ilani, Itamar Levy-Frank, Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon, Shlomo Kravetz, Michal Mashiach-Eizenberg, David Roe
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2013, 201 (3): 183-7
Research has revealed that approximately one third of persons with a serious mental illness (SMI) experience elevated internalized stigma, which is associated with a large number of negative outcomes. Family members of persons with SMI are also often subject to stigma, but the degree to which these experiences are internalized and lead to self-stigma has rarely been studied. The present study investigated the factor structure of a modification of the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) scale by Ritsher, Otilingam, and Grajales (Psychiatry Res 121:31-49, 2003). A central assumption of this investigation was that the factor structure of the Parents' Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (PISMI) scale would be similar to the factor structure of the ISMI scale. A total of 194 parents of persons with SMI completed the PISMI scale. The results revealed that the PISMI scale has high internal consistency and that it is made up of three distinctive factors: discrimination experience, social withdrawal and alienation, and stereotype endorsement. These factors are similar, but not identical, to the factors that underlie the ISMI scale. This study's findings also indicate that parents' prominent reaction to self-stigma is stereotype endorsement.

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