Author(s): Henry JD, von Hippel C, Terrett G, Mercuri K, McAlear K, et al.
People with a history of substance abuse are subject to widespread stigmatization. It seems likely that this societal disapproval will result in feelings of stereotype threat, or the belief that one is the target of demeaning stereotypes. If so, stereotype threat has the potential to contribute to functional difficulties including poor social outcomes.Methods
Eighty drug users on opioid substitution therapy and 84 demographically matched controls completed measures of mental health and social function. The opioid substitution therapy group were additionally asked to complete a measure that focused on their feelings of stereotype threat in relation to their drug use history. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to establish the magnitude and specificity of the relationship between stereotype threat and social functioning.Results
Relative to controls, the opioid substitution therapy group reported higher levels of negative affect and schizotypy, and poorer social functioning, with all three of these indices significantly correlated with their feelings of stereotype threat. The results also showed that stereotype threat contributed significant unique variance to social functioning in the opioid substitution therapy group, even after taking into account other background, clinical, and mental health variables.Conclusions
Social functioning is an important aspect of recovery, yet these data indicate that people with a history of drug abuse who believe they are the target of stereotypical attitudes have poorer social functioning. This relationship holds after controlling for the impact of other variables on social functioning, including mental health. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Referred From: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjc.12128
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