Natural contact and stigma towards schizophrenia in African Americans: Is perceived dangerousness a threat or challenge response?
Abbreviated Journal Title
Stigma; Contact theory; Impedance cardiography; Cardiovascular; reactivity; MENTAL-ILLNESS; IMPEDANCE CARDIOGRAPHY; RACIAL-DIFFERENCES; SOCIAL; REJECTION; ATTITUDES; INFORMATION; DEPRESSION; ELECTRODES; BAND; SPOT; Psychiatry
This research extends our understanding of the relationship of social contact theory to stigma in a sample of mainly African American college students. In Phase 1, 75 participants with high levels of contact reported significantly lower negative affect and less social distance toward the mentally ill as compared to 89 participants with low contact. Despite this, the high contact group attributed significantly higher levels of dangerousness to the mentally ill. Thus while social contact was associated with reductions in some dimensions of stigma, it was associated with higher levels of self-reported perceived dangerousness. These results were obtained while controlling for social desirability bias in the self-report measures of stigma. The results from Phase I of this study may indicate fundamental differences between incidental social contact and that which occurs in an assistive context. In Phase 2, a subset of convenience from the high contact group (n = 27) and the low contact group (n =38) were compared on cardiovascular reactivity measures while imagining social interactions with people labeled with schizophrenia. Post hoc testing revealed that when participants from the high contact group imagined interacting with people labeled as schizophrenic they exhibited significant decreases in total peripheral resistance (TPR), the challenge pattern, compared to their reactions when they imagined interacting with unstigmatized people. This finding suggests the higher dangerousness ratings of the mentally ill sometimes found in African American samples may be related to factors other than direct threat. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
"Natural contact and stigma towards schizophrenia in African Americans: Is perceived dangerousness a threat or challenge response?" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1333.