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Title: Identification with stigmatised groups : does group identification lead to poor self-esteem?
Author: Mustard, H. L.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Aims: If an individual receives a diagnosis, this can identify them as a member of a stigmatised group. The aim of this paper is to review the relevant literature in order to address three main questions about group identification. 1) When an individual is identified by others as being a member of a stigmatised group, do they tend to identify themselves as a member of that group? 2) What is the relationship between identification with a stigmatised group and self-evaluation? 3) Is this relationship different for mental health and learning disabilities diagnoses? Method: The academic literature was searched using PsycINFO, Web of Science, Embase, Medline and Google Scholar to identify peer-reviewed articles that explore the relationship between group identification, self-stigma and self-evaluation in the two diagnosed groups: mental health problems and learning disabilities. Results: Sixty-eight studies were identified by systematic search, 13 met criteria for this review. Eight papers focused on mental health and five focused on learning disabilities. Conclusions: There was variation in quality of methodology used, so conclusions are tentative. People tended to identify with their group but variation in level of group identification was found. Identification with the mental health problems group seemed to impact negatively on self-evaluation when the group had little value to the group member and group membership did not aid coping with stigma; if the group was valued and coping resources increased, self-evaluation could be protected. Ingroup, downward comparison to protect self-evaluation was present in both groups, but was more of a focus in the learning disabilities literature; there were no reports of the learning disabilities group being valued by its members. Implications for future research are discussed, including the study of other diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Condition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available