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Soc Sci Med. 2010 Jun;70(12):2045-51. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.02.023. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Internalization of stigma for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder in Hong Kong.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong.


An attribution model was tested to explain the internalization of stigma among parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the model, the internalization paths from courtesy stigma to affiliate stigma and the impact of three types of social support on affiliate stigma and psychological well-being were examined. The study was conducted in Hong Kong, China; one hundred and eighty-eight parents of children with ASD were recruited to complete the questionnaire. The model showed excellent fit to the data. Path analysis suggested three possible paths of internalizing courtesy stigma, including the direct path to affiliate stigma, through perceived controllability, or through perceived responsibility and self-blame. Support from family, significant others, friends, or professionals was found to be related to affiliate stigma and psychological well-being differentially. The internalization of stigma among parents of ASD children was severe. The path model sheds light on possible ways to reduce stigma in future services.

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