Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Name

MS in Psychology

Department

Psychology & Child Development

Advisor

Dr. Michael Selby

Abstract

This paper explores how gender and veteran status effects the level of stigmatization around Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four vignette conditions, which were distinguished by gender and veteran status. Participants were then asked to rate how they perceived the individual depicted in the vignette. The researchers analyzed the results by examining how the participants own report of gender, and masculinity, effected how each of the vignettes were judged. This paper addresses the stigma surrounding mental health in general, and more specifically how that stigma affects individuals suffering from PTSD across multiple domains. For the purposes of this paper, the domains of stigma explored include public stigma, social distancing, self-stigma and gender role conflict. Research indicates that PTSD is detrimental to both males and female veterans and civilians. In general, research suggests that males are more stigmatized than females and less likely to seek treatment (Addis & Mahalik, 2003; Good, et al., 1995). Individuals with a PTSD diagnosis may not seek services due to self-stigma, public-stigma, and social distancing (Corrigan & Watson, 2002; Girma et al., 2013; Gulliver et al., 2010; Link et al., 2002; Vogel et al., 2006; Weiner et al., 1988). Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD than men, and veterans are more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD than civilians (Breslau, 2001; Kessler et al., 1995; Olff et al., 2002). Although women are diagnosed with PTSD more frequently than men, research indicates that male veterans are the most stigmatized (Daoud, 2009; Mittal et al., 2007).

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