Monday, December 21, 2009

Self-stigma and the “why try” effect: impact on life goals and evidence-based practices

The abstract of an article published in the June 2009 edition of World Psychiatry:
By Patrick W. Corrigan, Jonathon E. Larson, and Nicolas Rüsch

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA

Many individuals with mental illnesses are troubled by self-stigma and the subsequent processes that accompany this stigma: low self-esteem and self-efficacy. “Why try” is the overarching phenomenon of interest here, encompassing self-stigma, mediating processes, and their effect on goal-related behavior. In this paper, the literature that explains “why try” is reviewed, with special focus on social psychological models. Self-stigma comprises three steps: awareness of the stereotype, agreement with it, and applying it to one’s self. As a result of these processes, people suffer reduced self-esteem and self-efficacy. People are dissuaded from pursuing the kind of opportunities that are fundamental to achieving life goals because of diminished self-esteem and self-efficacy. People may also avoid accessing and using evidence-based practices that help achieve these goals. The effects of self-stigma and the “why try” effect can be diminished by services that promote consumer empowerment.

Keywords: Self-stigma, mental illness, public stigma, self-esteem, self-efficacy, empowerment

To download the entire article (PDF), please click here.

Posting of this abstract is for the purposes of research into mental illness and self-stigma.

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