Depression Stigma in a Predominantly Low Income African American Sample With Elevated Depressive Symptoms

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It is widely recognized that stigmatization of depression leads individuals with depression to avoid treatment and discontinue treatment prematurely. However, this research has been conducted with predominantly White samples and there is limited research on stigma of depression and how it relates to previous treatment seeking among African Americans. The current study examined stigma of depression and related constructs in a predominantly low income African American sample with elevated depressive symptoms. Specifically, general self-stigma, secrecy, public stigma, treatment stigma, and stigmatizing experiences, as well as depression severity, and whether these factors predicted previous treatment seeking for depression were explored. Previous treatment seeking significantly predicted decreased public stigma and increased self-stigma. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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