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)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
New York
United States
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