The principal goal of the proposed research is to develop culturally specific measures that capture how mental illness stigma is experienced in different cultural contexts. Efforts to effectively scale-up mental health interventions worldwide have been hampered by local manifestations of stigma that contribute to the under-treatment and social isolation of people with severe mental disorders. A measurement tool that assesses stigma in its culture-specific forms does not exist, is badly needed, and would greatly facilitate systematic efforts to combat stigma. We propose to fill this gap by developing a general approach and specific measures of culture specific stigma. Worthing with the other Hubs, we will constnjct and evaluate a measure of mental illness stigma for use in three diverse cultural contexts (i.e. sites within the three funded Hubs) that might be applied to other settings. Focusing on a culturally specific assessment of stigma will contribute to the aims of the Hub for Latin America by facilitating the implementation of community mental health care in this region.
The aims of this work are (a) to examine qualitatively key culture-specific domains of stigma;(b) to operationalize Items to create a 'culture-specific'stigma module, and (c) to psychometrically validate a new measure that incorporates 'culture-specific'and 'universal'aspects of stigma.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the shared research component is to develop culturally specific measures that capture how mental illness Stigma is experienced in different cultural contexts. We utilize a novel formulation of how culture impacts stigma to create a psychometrically validated tool to assess stigma's culture-specific effects in addition to its broader, universal aspects. Developing such a measure promises to aid efforts to assess and to ultimately address culture-specific forms of stigma manifested across settings to facilitate effective implementation of community mental health sen/ices.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-B)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Columbia University (N.Y.)
New York
United States
Zip Code
Keyes, Katherine M; Smith, George Davey; Koenen, Karestan C et al. (2015) The mathematical limits of genetic prediction for complex chronic disease. J Epidemiol Community Health 69:574-9
Roberts, Andrea L; Agnew-Blais, Jessica C; Spiegelman, Donna et al. (2015) Posttraumatic stress disorder and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in a sample of women: a 22-year longitudinal study. JAMA Psychiatry 72:203-10
Roberts, Andrea L; Galea, Sandro; Austin, S Bryn et al. (2014) Women's experience of abuse in childhood and their children's smoking and overweight. Am J Prev Med 46:249-58
Baumgartner, J N; Susser, E (2013) Social integration in global mental health: what is it and how can it be measured? Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci 22:29-37
El-Sayed, Abdulrahman M; Koenen, Karestan C; Galea, Sandro (2013) Rethinking our public health genetics research paradigm. Am J Public Health 103 Suppl 1:S14-8
Yang, Lawrence H; Valencia, Elie; Alvarado, Ruben et al. (2013) A theoretical and empirical framework for constructing culture-specific stigma instruments for Chile. Cad Saude Colet 21:71-79
Galea, Sandro; Link, Bruce G (2013) Six paths for the future of social epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol 178:843-9
Minoletti, Alberto; Galea, Sandro; Susser, Ezra (2012) Community Mental Health Services in Latin America for People with Severe Mental Disorders. Public Health Rev 34:
Baumgartner, Joy Noel; da Silva, Tatiana Fernandes Carpinteiro; Valencia, Eliecer et al. (2012) Measuring social integration in a pilot randomized controlled trial of critical time: intervention-task shifting in Latin America. Cad Saude Colet 20: