Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #88
Don't Call Me Nuts: How to Study the Stigma of Mental Illness
Saturday, May 29, 2010
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Patricia Bach (Illinois Institute of Technology)
PATRICK W. CORRIGAN (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Patrick Corrigan is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Associate Dean for Research. Prior to that, Corrigan was professor of Psychiatry and Executive Director of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at the University of Chicago, being there for 14 years. Corrigan has been principal investigator of federally funded studies on rehabilitation and consumer operated services. Ten years ago, he became principal investigator of the Chicago Consortium for Stigma Research, the only NIMH-funded research center examining the stigma of mental illness. More recently, the Chicago Consortium evolved into the National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment (NCSE), supported by NIMH as a developing center in services research. Centered at IIT, NCSE includes co-principal investigators from Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers. One recent study supported by NIAAA, NIMH, and The Fogarty Center examined the stigma of mental illness endorsed by employers in Beijing, Chicago, and Hong Kong. In the few years, Corrigan has partnered with colleagues from the Department for Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense to develop and evaluate anti-stigma programs meant to help soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan seek out services for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when needed. Corrigan is a prolific researcher having published eleven books and more than 250 papers. He is editor of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.
Abstract: Context has been added to models seeking to better understand behavior change with stigma being in important contextual construct. Many people in distress do not pursue appropriate clinical services, or drop out of these services prematurely, in order to escape the harm of psychiatric labels. People with psychiatric disabilities often find life goals including real work and independent living blocked by employers or landlords who endorse the stigma of mental illness. Some people with mental illness internalize the stigma leading to the why try effect: “Why should I try to get a job? I am unable to handle it competently.” This lecture reviews the various forms of label avoidance, public-stigma, and self-stigma. In the process, research by our group that sheds light on stigma is summarized. Most important to our current work is developing and evaluating anti-stigma programs. In the process of conducting outcome studies, we have begun to identify the conundra that confound research in this arena. The presentation ends with a review of important research issues.



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