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Health Communication Research Measures


Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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23. Stigma


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23. Stigma

MARY J. BRESNAHAN,Michigan State University& JIE ZHUANG,Michigan State University

Goffman (1963) presented a conceptual guidebook for understanding stigma, but offered no plan for studying stigma systematically. Measuring stigma has continued to be elusive because stigmatizers often cloak stigma in self-report and experimental research (Earnshaw & Chaudoir, 2009). It is relatively easy to document the experience of recipients of stigma but more difficult to get stigmatizers to reveal their stigma. Smith (2007) explained that “stigma communication is the messages spread through communities to teach their members to recognize the disgraced and to react accordingly” (p. 464). The goal of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive overview of existing stigma theories and measures.

Three classes of stigma theories study perception and enactment of stigma: 1) attribution theories of stigma, 2) stigma as power disparity, and 3) stigma as a communicative event. Link and Phelan’s (2001) 5-factor model typifies the attribution approach defining 5 stigma behaviors including labeling, negative attribution, separation, status loss, and discrimination. Subsequent research has developed scales to measure these stigma behaviors (Bresnahan & Zhuang, 2011). The idea of stigma as power disparity focuses on structural and social imbalances in the creation, maintenance, and experience of stigma (Parker & Aggleton, 2003; Scambler, 2004). Positional, relational, informational, and social power inequality enables stigmatizers to enforce negative evaluation downgrading others who are afflicted with an undesirable condition. Earnshaw and Chaudoir (2009) observe that “stigma...

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