Research suggests that empathy may reduce stigma, while adult attachment style may influence empathy. We examined stigma toward schizophrenia and other psychosocial or health concerns. We created vignettes describing a person displaying behavioral problems with different reasons offered for the behavior. Vignettes were followed by stigma items. Participants (N = 347) also completed empathy and adult attachment scales. The most stigma was found with a homelessness vignette, and the least with an Alzheimer's disease vignette. No significant differences in stigma were found between bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or “severe psychological disorder” vignettes. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated a significant main effect for empathy. Interaction terms for empathy and adult attachment did not explain a significant proportion of stigma variance. Results are discussed in terms of mainstream conceptions of these conditions.
The Role of Empathy and Adult Attachment in Predicting Stigma toward Severe and Persistent Mental Illness and other Psychosocial or Health Conditions
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Marcia Webb, Jessica Peterson, Stephanie C. Willis, Heather Rodney, Erin Siebert, Jessica A. Carlile, Laurel Stinar; The Role of Empathy and Adult Attachment in Predicting Stigma toward Severe and Persistent Mental Illness and other Psychosocial or Health Conditions. Journal of Mental Health Counseling 1 January 2016; 38 (1): 62–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.38.1.05
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