A disease stigma scale grounded in Weiner's attribution theory

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Description: Disease stigma has been measured using a number of different scales and results have not been consistent between all studies. The present study develops the Measure of Disease-Related Stigma (MDRS), which is grounded in Weiner's attribution theory, by evaluating a pool of items adapted from past studies of disease stigma or written by T. Stump. Participants (183 undergraduate students) read a vignette describing a hypothetical HIV/AIDS patient as acquiring their condition through risky sexual behavior (high onset-controllability), through a blood transfusion (low onset-controllability), or through unknown means (unknown onset-controllability). They then rated the hypothetical patient using all items. This pool was reduced to a 31-item scale following a psychometric evaluation. A series of analyses conducted on the MDRS subscales revealed that high onset-controllability targets were more stigmatized than low onset-controllability targets, consistent with Weiner's theory. Results of the MDRS were comparable to those found for existing measures, despite the MDRS containing fewer items. Future research is needed to verify the factor structure of the MDRS and apply the scale to measure other types of disease stigma.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work