Stigma Among Historically Marginalized Young Adults With Serious Mental Illnesses: A Mixed Methods Study

Aaron H. Rodwin, Rei Shimizu, Moiyattu Banya, Kiara Moore, Melissa Bessaha, Rohini Pahwa, Philip T. Yanos, Michelle R. Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stigma of mental illness is a significant barrier to mental health service use and recovery. Yet, few studies have examined stigma among marginalized young adults with serious mental illnesses (SMI). This convergent mixed methods study builds knowledge surrounding stigma among a sample of young adults of color with SMI (n = 113). The study progressed in twophases. First, a multivariable regressionmodelwas estimated to identify factors associated with anticipated stigma. Results indicated that (a) more severe depression symptoms were associated with higher levels of anticipated stigma and (b) more positive treatment beliefs were associated with lower levels of anticipated stigma. Level of education was trending toward significance, suggesting that young adults with higher levels of education experience more anticipated stigma. The second phase focused on qualitative interview data from a subset of young adults (n = 57). Analysts used grounded theory coding techniques and constant comparison to evolve a set of themes that describe stigma experiences. Three themes emerged, namely perceptions of the self, societal views of people with SMI, and the impact of stigma on life.Analytic matrices were developed to merge quantitative data on education, depression symptoms, and treatment beliefs with qualitative data to examine convergence and divergence. The density and content of statements on stigma differed by education and depression, further validating quantitative results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStigma and Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • depression
  • mixed methods
  • serious mental illness
  • stigma
  • young adults of color

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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