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Approach-avoidance beliefs, college students, concealable stigmatized identities, self-disclosure, stigma


Many college students identify having a mental health condition, yet students may be ambivalent about self-disclosing their mental health. While stigma and self-disclosure have been examined in research, personal factors may also impact self-disclosure behaviors. The present study examined 150 U.S. college students with a self-identified mental health condition. Research aimed to predict classmate self-disclosure by stigma, avoidance beliefs, and the interaction of these variables. Multiple regression analysis found a significant interaction effect, whereby stigma was negatively associated with self-disclosure only under conditions of low avoidance. Implications suggest that self-disclosure interventions target stigma and avoidance beliefs to encourage greater self-disclosure.

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This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.


This article was published in Social Work in Mental Health,

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (