Stigma and social support in substance abuse: Implications for mental health and well-being

Article English OPEN
Birtel, Michèle ; Wood, Lisa ; Kempa, Nancy J. (2017)

Individuals with substance abuse may suffer from severe public and internalized stigma. Little is known about how social support can reduce stigma and improve mental health and well-being for them. This research examined how perceived stigma influences individuals in treatment for substance abuse, and whether internalized stigma and shame are mechanisms which link social support with better mental health and well-being. Sixty-four participants in treatment for substance abuse (alcohol, drugs), aged between 18 and 64, completed an online survey measuring perceived stigma, internalized stigma, shame, perceived social support, and mental health and well-being (self-esteem, depression and anxiety, sleep). We found that perceived stigma was associated with lower self-esteem, higher depression and anxiety, and poorer sleep. Furthermore, perceived social support followed the opposite pattern, and was associated with higher self-esteem, lower depression and anxiety, and better sleep. The effects of perceived stigma and of perceived social support on our outcome measures were mediated by internalized stigma and by internalized shame. Helping individuals with substance abuse to utilize their social support may be fruitful for combatting the negative impact of internalized stigma and shame on mental health and well-being.
  • References (19)
    19 references, page 1 of 2

    Baron, R.M., Kenny, D.A., 1986. The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. J.

    Personal. Soc. Psychol. 51, 1173-1182. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037//0022- 3514.51.6.1173.

    Barry, C.L., McGinty, E.E., Pescosolido, B.A., Goldman, H.H., 2014. Stigma, discrimination, treatment effectiveness, and policy: Public views about drug addiction and mental illness.

    Psychiatr. Serv. 65, 1269-1272. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1176/appi.ps.201400140.

    Baumeister, R.F., Leary, M.R., 1995. The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychol. Bull. 117, 497-529.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497.

    Beals, K.P., Peplau, L.A., Gable, S.L., 2009. Stigma management and well-being: the role of perceived social support, emotional processing, and suppression. Personal. Soc.

    Psychol. Bull. 35, 867-879. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167209334783.

    Beatty, D.L., Hall, M.H., Kamarck, T.A., Buysse, D.J., Owens, J.F., Reis, S.E., Matthews, K.A., 2011. Unfair treatment is associated with poor sleep in African American and Caucasian adults: Pittsburgh SleepSCORE project. Health Psychol. 30, 351-359.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0022976.

  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    7
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Greenwich Academic Literature Archive - IRUS-UK 0 7
Share - Bookmark