Vicarious Stigma and Self-Stigma Experienced by Parents of Children with Mental Health and/or Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Marisa D. Serchuk, Patrick W. Corrigan, Sarah Reed, Jeneva L. Ohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The stigma of young children with mental health and/or neurodevelopmental disorders is experienced by their parents in at least two ways: self-stigma and vicarious stigma. Secrecy may diminish stigma through impression management or strategic disclosure. The present study explores the relationship between vicarious stigma, self-stigma, secrecy coping, depression, and quality of life. Additionally, we examine the structure of a novel measure of vicarious stigma. Fifty parents of children with mental health and/or neurodevelopmental disorders completed measures. Self-stigma and sadness due to vicarious stigma were significantly associated with greater depression and diminished quality of life. Higher secrecy coping was also associated with higher depression and lower quality of life, supporting the benefits of disclosure. This research meaningfully adds to our understanding of stigma in general, and as experienced by parents of children with mental health and/or neurodevelopmental disorders. Implications for ongoing stigma change development and evaluation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2021

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