Stigma and Health
- Katherine NieweglowskiKatherine NieweglowskiDepartment of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
- and Patrick W. CorriganPatrick W. CorriganDepartment of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
Stigma is a complex process that results from the interaction of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. When applied to health conditions (e.g., mental illness, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, obesity), stigma can contribute to a lack of recovery and resources as well as devaluation of the self. People with stigmatized health conditions may be too embarrassed to seek treatment and others may not provide them with equal opportunities. This often results in discrimination in employment, housing, and health care settings. Strategies have been proposed to prompt stigma change with strategic contact between those with the health condition and everyone else likely to have the best effects.