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Development and Initial Testing of a Measure of Public and Self-Stigma in the Military
Article first published online: 23 JUL 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 68, Issue 9, pages 1036–1047, September 2012
How to Cite
Skopp, N. A., Bush, N. E., Vogel, D. L., Wade, N. G., Sirotin, A. P., McCann, R. A. and Metzger-Abamukong, M. J. (2012), Development and Initial Testing of a Measure of Public and Self-Stigma in the Military. J. Clin. Psychol., 68: 1036–1047. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21889
The authors extend appreciation to Dr. H. Quigg Davis, Dr. Michael Jones, and Dr. Gary Southwell of the Madigan Healthcare System for their support of this research.
- Issue published online: 10 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 23 JUL 2012
- Mental health stigma;
- public stigma;
This research developed and tested the Military Stigma Scale (MSS), a 26-item scale, designed to measure public and self-stigma, two theorized core components of mental health stigma.
The sample comprised 1,038 active duty soldiers recruited from a large Army installation. Soldiers’ mean age was 26.7 (standard deviation = 5.9) years, and 93.6% were male. The sample was randomly split into a scale development group (n = 520) and a confirmatory group (n = 518).
Factor analysis conducted with the scale development group resulted in the adoption of two factors, named public and self-stigma, accounting for 52.1% of the variance. Confirmatory factor analysis conducted with the confirmatory group indicated good fit for the two-factor model. Both factors were components of a higher order stigma factor. The public and self-stigma scales for the exploratory and confirmatory groups demonstrated good internal consistency (α = .94 and .89; α = .95 and .87, respectively). Demographic differences in stigma were consistent with theory and previous empirical research: Soldiers who had seen a mental health provider scored lower in self-stigma than those who had not.
The MSS comprises two internally consistent dimensions that appear to capture the constructs of public and self-stigma. The overall results indicate that public and self-stigma are dimensions of stigma that are relevant to active duty soldiers and suggest the need to assess these dimensions in future military stigma research.