Cultural model of self-stigma among individuals with mental Illness

Ka Shing Kevin CHAN, Wing Sze Winnie MAK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Pursuit of personal recovery among individuals with mental illness is often sabotaged by the internalization of public-stigma and the development of self-stigma. Despite the potential importance of cultural factors in understanding the internalization process of public-stigma, no study has investigated how individual-ism/collectivism may affect self-stigma and, in turn, recovery. We addressed this research gap by testing a cultural model of self-stigma, wherein individualism/collectivism is considered to affect recovery through self-stigma. In this study, individuals with mental ill-ness were recruited in Hong Kong (n = 85) and the United States (n = 136) to complete a set of questionnaires. We found that self-stigma was related negatively to horizontal-collectivism (r =−.24; p = .03) and positively to vertical-individualism (r = .24; p = .005) among the HK and US participants, respectively. Moreover, self-stigma was negatively associated with recovery in both the HK(r =−.43; p < .001) and US samples (r =−.16; p = .05). Taken together, these findings provide preliminary empirical support for our cultural model of self-stigma.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


Chan, K. K. S., & Mak, W. W. S. (2016, July). Cultural model of self-stigma among individuals with mental Illness. Paper presented at The 31st International Congress of Psychology (ICP2016): Diversity in harmony: Insights from psychology, Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan.


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