The Mediating Role of Mattering to Others in Recovery and Stigma
Objective: This study examines the role of mattering to others as an intrapersonal construct that may mediate the relationship between social support and 2 separate criterion variables: recovery and internalized stigma associated with living with a serious mental health condition. Adults living with serious mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, face numerous social challenges that may leave them feeling isolated, stigmatized, and that they do not matter to others, thus thwarting the potential for recovery. Theorists and researchers conceptualize the sense of mattering to others as the perception that 1 is valued, recognized by others along with the feelings that others are concerned about our well-being. Method: Clubhouse members (N = 119) completed 1-hr, in-depth personal interviews assessing perceived social support, experiences of mental health recovery, and stigma associated with living with a mental health condition as well as a sense of mattering to others. Results: Mediation analyses revealed the significant effects of mattering to others as explaining the relationship between social support and recovery as well as the relationship between social support and internalized stigma. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The findings illuminate our understanding as to how social support interventions can enhance recovery and reduce stigma associated with living with a psychiatric condition by attention to perceptions of whether one is valued and recognized by others. Mattering to others among consumers of social and health care interventions can serve to engage individuals who may withdraw from supports or internalize negative self-stereotypes based on internalized stigma.