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Psychiatry Res. 2012 Aug 30;199(1):65-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 May 10.

Self-stigma of mental illness scale--short form: reliability and validity.

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  • 1Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, USA.


The internalization of public stigma by persons with serious mental illnesses may lead to self-stigma, which harms self-esteem, self-efficacy, and empowerment. Previous research has evaluated a hierarchical model that distinguishes among stereotype awareness, agreement, application to self, and harm to self with the 40-item Self-Stigma of Mental Illness Scale (SSMIS). This study addressed SSMIS critiques (too long, contains offensive items that discourages test completion) by strategically omitting half of the original scale's items. Here we report reliability and validity of the 20-item short form (SSMIS-SF) based on data from three previous studies. Retained items were rated less offensive by a sample of consumers. Results indicated adequate internal consistencies for each subscale. Repeated measures ANOVAs showed subscale means progressively diminished from awareness to harm. In support of its validity, the harm subscale was found to be inversely and significantly related to self-esteem, self-efficacy, empowerment, and hope. After controlling for level of depression, these relationships remained significant with the exception of the relation between empowerment and harm SSMIS-SF subscale. Future research with the SSMIS-SF should evaluate its sensitivity to change and its stability through test-rest reliability.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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