Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology: Clinical-Counseling Psychology
Daniel G. Lannin
Past research has shown that disclosing one’s mental illness to another individual has reduced one’s feelings of self-stigma. However, there are gaps concerning the reasons why the act of disclosing for some decreases self-stigma, whereas the act of disclosing increases self-stigma in others. This study purported to fill this gap by investigating the influence of identity centrality on the relation between disclosure and self-stigma and positive regard’s moderation of identity centrality’s influence. Students from Illinois State University were recruited through e-mail and SONA and were asked to complete a series of questionnaires regarding distress, disclosure, identity, positive affect, and self-stigma. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the influence of identity centrality on the relation between disclosure and self-stigma, as well as the influence of positive regard on identity centrality’s moderating relation with disclosure and self-stigma. Identity centrality and positive regard were found to moderate the relation between disclosure and self-stigma. The hypotheses were supported as results showed the hypothesized model was statistically significant: participants who held their mental health diagnosis or distress close to their identity and had high positive regard for it, were more likely to disclose and decrease their self-stigma. However, disclosure of participants who held their mental health diagnosis or distress close to their identity led to higher self-stigma when they held low positive regard toward it.
Ege, Samantha, "Identity Centrality's Influence on the Relation between Disclosure and Mental Health Stigma" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 1242.