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Stigmatization of HIV positive individuals The effects of onset-controllability, gender, and sexual orientation

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Description: Examining the stigmatization of HIV positive individuals is an important avenue of research as stigmatization has been found to play a critical role in both decreasing the quality of life to those with HIV, and in spreading the disease itself. The purpose of the current study was to identify factors that contribute most significantly to stigma. Participants read a vignette describing a hypothetical person with HIV and then completed a questionnaire measuring stigma. Three dimensions of stigma were measured; attribution variables, emotional reactions, and behavioral intentions. Consistent with B. Weiner's (1993) theory of responsibility it was hypothesized that targets who were perceived to be more responsible for their HIV status (i.e. acquired it through a controllable manner) would be more stigmatized than those who were not deemed to be responsible for their HIV status. Results supported this hypothesis. It was also hypothesized that sexual orientation of a target would have a significant impact, and that gay men would be the most stigmatized group. Additionally, it was hypothesized that anti-gay attitudes of participant raters would be correlated with stigmatization, particularly in the gay/lesbian and unknown target groups. Results did not support the hypothesis that gay men would be the most stigmatized group by all participants; however, analysis did show that participant anti-gay attitudes had a significant effect on stigmatization.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work