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J Addict Dis. 2019 Jan 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2018.1557991. [Epub ahead of print]

Preliminary psychometric evaluation of the micro-condescension scale for individuals in substance use treatment.

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a Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition , University of Texas , San Antonio , TX , USA.
b Department of Health Sciences , California State University , Northridge , CA , USA.
c Departments of Preventive Medicine and Psychology , University of Southern California , Los Angeles , CA , USA.



Stigma and discrimination are often experienced by individuals going through substance use treatment, and can influence treatment seeking, retention, and outcomes including long-term recovery.


The aim of the current study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Micro-Condescension Scale (MCS), a newly developed tool to measure individuals' perceptions of microlevel stigma and discrimination for seeking substance use treatment or being in recovery.


The MCS was administered to individuals (nā€‰=ā€‰90) at the beginning and end of a mindfulness treatment program implemented in a substance use treatment facility in Southern California. Principal components analysis was used to evaluate the factor solution and psychometric analyses were applied to investigate reliability and validity of the MCS.


The principal component analysis yielded a single factor solution for the 12-item scale. Cronbach's alpha was 0.93 at treatment entry (pretest) and 0.91 at treatment exit (posttest). The scale showed acceptable test-retest reliability and correlated with measures of impulsivity, perceived devaluation-discrimination scores, and self-awareness in cross-sectional and prospective analyses.


Following additional validation research, future studies on discriminatory experiences and substance use treatment outcomes should consider using the MCS due to its brevity and acceptable psychometric properties.


Psychometric; discrimination; microaggression; stigma; substance use treatment

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