Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) has multiple health and social consequences which negatively affect individuals’ lives. However, the decision to utilize treatment is influenced by a variety of social factors. The stigma associated with AUD may impact individuals’ willingness to seek treatment after drinking is viewed as an issue. A highly stigmatized disorder, perceptions of AUD may be influenced by medical/moral lay theories, responsibility attributions and implicit theories. Once treatment is sought, support from others during the recovery process has been associated with treatment retention rates and success. Lay recovery beliefs, such as change perceptions, influence the amount of support offered to individuals during treatment. 249 college students completed assessments to measure their beliefs regarding medical/moral lay theories, responsibility attributions and implicit theories for AUD. Participants also completed questionnaires on social distance and perceptions of change. This study’s results indicate that medical/moral lay theories and responsibility attributions are linked to stigmatizing attitudes towards AUD. Responsibility attributions and implicit theories interact to influence stigma. It was also found that perceived likelihood of change is influenced by responsibility attributions, while perceived possibility of change is linked to medical/moral lay theories, responsibility attributions and implicit theories. Such relationships between the evaluated lay beliefs and stigmatizing attitudes may have important implications for programs aimed to reduce negative attitudes towards AUD.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Jansen, Tori L., "Models of Perception: Lay Theories and Stigma towards Alcohol Use Disorder" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 807.