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The European Journal of Psychiatry

versión impresa ISSN 0213-6163


HAGHIGHAT, Rahman. The Development of an Instrument to Measure Stigmatization: factor analysis and origin of stigmatization. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.3, pp.144-154. ISSN 0213-6163.

Assessment of stigmatization and understanding of its roots are gaining more importance as its effect on the prognosis of mental health is recognized. A search with Medline showed that there are instruments assessing stigmatization, most containing misconceptions, and regrettably none with adequate reliability and validity. To develop a reliable and valid instrument for research into stigmatization, and to define the structure of stigmatization by factor analysis of the results, about two thousand items from patients' own explanatory models, user groups' ideas, relatives' and social workers' accounts were scrutinized by the author and an independent observer. The items were simplified and rephrased so that they each contained a single idea expressed in clear language. Items were excluded on the grounds of redundancy, culture-boundness or representing factual knowledge rather than attitude. The draft of the instrument was field-tested, and rigorous assessments proved its reliability and validity. Factor analysis derived three factors indicating social, psychological and evolutionary foundations of stigmatization. The result is the Standardized Stigmatization Questionnaire, version 1 (SSQ1) which is now being used in several research centres in Europe. The Unitary Theory of Stigmatization resulting from this study has contributed to a new understanding of the meaning of stigmatization.

Palabras clave : Stigmatization; Mental health; Standardized; Stigmatization Questionaire (SSQ1).

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