J Am Coll Health. 2022 Sep 28:1-5. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2126944. Online ahead of print.
Objective: To assess differences in internalized stigma of mental illness based on demographic characteristics and mental healthcare utilization among college students. Participants: Students with self-reported mental illness (n = 128) were recruited via random sampling. Methods: Participants completed an online survey, including questions related to demographic characteristics and mental healthcare utilization. The survey also included the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) scale. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Students accessing mental healthcare (pharmacological and/or psychotherapeutic) reported higher ISMI scores than students who did not access services during past year. Students with sexual minority statuses also reported higher ISMI scores than their heterosexual counterparts. Conclusions: Results highlight differences in internalized stigma based on demographics characteristics and mental healthcare utilization among college students. More research is needed to better understand intersectional stigma. Further, universities need tailored and specific interventions to address internalized stigma among students with diverse backgrounds and needs.
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