Stereotype threat contributes to social difficulties in people with schizophrenia

Henry, JD, von Hippel, C and Shapiro, L (2010) Stereotype threat contributes to social difficulties in people with schizophrenia. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 49 1: 31-41. doi:10.1348/014466509X421963

Author Henry, JD
von Hippel, C
Shapiro, L
Title Stereotype threat contributes to social difficulties in people with schizophrenia
Journal name British Journal of Clinical Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0144-6657
Publication date 2010-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1348/014466509X421963
Volume 49
Issue 1
Start page 31
End page 41
Total pages 11
Place of publication Leicester, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: The experience of stereotype threat (where the prospect of conforming to a stereotype, or of being treated in terms of it, becomes self-threatening) affects members of social groups about whom devaluing stereotypes exist. Although a widely endorsed stereotype of schizophrenia concerns social skill impairment, it is unclear whether the experience of stereotype threat impacts social functioning in this group. The purpose of the present study was to test whether people with schizophrenia would perform more poorly in a social setting in which they felt stereotyped as mentally ill.
Methods. Thirty individuals with schizophrenia engaged in conversations with two confederates, one of whom they were told knew nothing about them (control conversation), and the other of whom they were told had been informed of their diagnosis (stereotype threat conversation). In reality, neither confederate had been informed of participants' mental health status.
Results: Although participants with schizophrenia did not perceive any differences in their own social behaviour across the two conditions, their social skill was rated by the confederates as poorer in the stereotype threat conversation on three out of the six measures used.
Conclusions: These results suggest that social skill difficulties in people with schizophrenia may be exacerbated by their awareness that others know of their diagnosis. These findings have implications for disclosure of mental health status.
© 2010 The British Psychological Society.
Keyword Mental illness
Impaired perspective
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Mon, 07 Mar 2011, 10:21:30 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology