Experiences of Social and Structural Forms of Stigma Among Chinese Immigrant Consumers with Psychosis

Zhen Hadassah Cheng, Ming-Che Tu, Vanessa A Li, Rachel W Chang, Lawrence Hsin Yang
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 2015, 17 (6): 1723-31
Chinese immigrants tend to rely on family and close community for support given their vulnerable societal position. Yet stigma, especially from structural and familial sources, may have a particularly harmful impact upon Chinese immigrants with psychosis. Using a descriptive analysis based upon grounded theory, we examined stigma experiences of 50 Chinese immigrant consumers with psychosis, paying particular attention to frequency, sources, and themes of social and structural stigma. Although past research indicates that family is a recipient of stigma, we found instead that family members were common perpetuators of social forms of stigma. We also found that perceptions of work deficit underlie many forms of stigma, suggesting this is "what matters most" in this community. Lack of financial resources and language barriers comprised most frequent forms of structural stigma. Anti-stigma efforts should aim to improve consumer's actual and perceived employability to target what is most meaningful in Chinese immigrant communities.

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