Center on Race and Social Problems

Depression Stigma, Race, and Treatment Seeking Behavior and Attitudes

Topic: 
Date: 
January 1, 2005 to January 1, 2008
Description: 

Additional funding from the University Center on Social and Urban Research and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research

This pilot study examines the relationship between stigma and treatment-related behaviors and attitudes in adults with depression. The major focus of this research is to examine the impact of both perceived public stigma and internalized stigma on treatment-related behaviors and attitudes (e.g., current treatment for depression, intention to seek treatment for depression, attitudes toward depression treatment). The analyses will determine the mediating or moderating effects of internalized stigma on the relationship between perceived public stigma and mental health treatment-related behaviors and attitudes. In addition, researchers will examine whether their effects differ by race (African American versus White) and age (<65 versus 65+). This research should refine conceptual understanding of how stigma affects mental service utilization in adults with depression. Researchers also intend to identify modifiable factors that can be the target of clinical and community-based interventions to reduce depression stigma and increase treatment utilization for depression, particularly in African Americans. Data collection is complete and data analyses are underway. In addition, a concept paper entitled “The Conceptualization of Stigma: Public Stigma, Internalized Stigma, and Race” is currently under review.