International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
  

Volume 22 Num. 2 - June 2022

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The Impact of Stigmatizing Experiences and Self-Stigma on Mental Health and Suicidal Behavior: Results from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries

Volume 22 Num. 2 - June 2022 - Pages 185-196

Authors:

Coelho, Mariana , Pereira, Henrique

Abstract:

Stigma is an attribute that discredits an individual from society, diminishing the person. People who have self-stigma endorse negative stereotypes about themselves, which leads to negative reactions and feelings of shame. Self-stigma affects overall health, particularly mental health, and quality of life, and can lead to suicidal behavior and poor self-esteem and self-efficacy. It has also been found to be a major barrier when it comes to seeking help from mental health professionals. This study aims (1) to assess stigmatizing experiences, self-stigma, mental health, and suicidal behavior, comparing differences between countries of residence; (2) to explore the associations between self-stigma, stigmatizing experiences, mental health variables, and suicidal behavior; and (3) to determine the predictive effect of self-stigma, number of stigmatizing experiences, and sociodemographic variables on mental health and suicidal behavior. Measurement instruments included a Sociodemographic Questionnaire, the Portuguese version of the Brief Symptom Inventory-18, the Suicidal Behaviours Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), and the Paradox of Self‑Stigma scale (PaSS‑24). The results showed participants with higher levels of self-stigma and stigmatizing experiences presented significantly higher mental health issues and suicidal behavior. Correlational analyses showed significant correlations among mental health and suicidal variables and self-stigma variables. Regression analyses showed that sociodemographic variables, number of stigmatizing experiences, and self-stigma explained 25.3% of the variability in mental health issues while sociodemographic variables, number of stigmatizing experiences, and self-stigma explained 13.5% of the variability in suicidal behavior. This study was an important contribution to the knowledge regarding the relationship between stigma and mental health.
Key words: stigmatizing experiences; self-stigma; mental health; suicidal behavior.

How to cite this paper:
Coelho M & Pereira H (2022). The Impact of Stigmatizing Experiences and Self-Stigma on Mental Health and Suicidal Behavior: Results from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 22, 2, 185-196.

Key words:

stigmatizing experiences; self-stigma; mental health; suicidal behavior.

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