Stigma and Discrimination Against People with Mental Illness: Findings from North-Central Nigeria

Adeyemi SO, Abiola T, Solomon KJ


Background: Stigma has been described as social disadvantages being experienced by people with mental illness. This usually come in the triad of ignorance, prejudice and discrimination and has been identified as a universal phenomenon. Specific studies on psychiatric stigma that were carried out in Nigeria were mainly outside the Northern part of the country. Hence, the present study aimed at assessing the level of stigma and discrimination in Kaduna, a major city in North Central Nigeria using Stip-9. We also aim to validate the English version of this German instrument as the English translation used in this study has no reported psychometric properties.

Methods: The participants are a group of factory workers who were approached to fill the study instruments during an anti-stigma educational activity. The instruments comprised a socio-demographic questionnaire and Stig-9. Mean scores of respondents on Stig-9 were used to group them into high or low stigma. Cronbach’s alpha and factorial analysis were done to determine the validity of the measuring scales.

Results: Participants’ variables significantly contributing to high perceived stigma are female gender and being less than 31 years in age. The internal consistency of Stig-9 is moderately high (r=0.718). Scree plot reveals that Stig-9 is made up of 3 factors that relates to ‘discrimination’, ‘emotional reactions’ and ‘labeling.’

Conclusion: Our study shows that the participants who were females and less than 31 year-old had high level of perceived stigma. The internal reliability of Stig-9 is moderately high and comprises of three factorially derived subscales relating to discrimination, negative emotions and labeling. These findings supported Stig-9 as a valid short measure of stigma and identified variables to target in planning stigma interventions.

Keywords: Stigma, Discrimination, Stig-9 Psychometric, Mental Illness, North-Central Nigeria

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Stigma; discrimination; Stig-9 psychometric; mental illness; north-central Nigeria

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