The effect of depression behaviours and diagnostic label on hiring managers’ stigma

Sherrone O'Hagan (2011). The effect of depression behaviours and diagnostic label on hiring managers’ stigma Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Sherrone O'Hagan
Thesis Title The effect of depression behaviours and diagnostic label on hiring managers’ stigma
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Troy Visser
Total pages 62
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Stigma can greatly exacerbate the experience of depression and undermine the quality of life of people with mental illness, resulting in decreased life opportunities and a loss of independent functioning. Given the strong links between meaningful occupation, clinical improvement, and decreased service use among people with depression, it is particularly concerning that individuals with depression are often unable to obtain and retain employment. To understand this phenomenon, it is thus important to understand the hiring perspectives of employers and how attitudes are manifested behaviourally in the work context, as employers are the gatekeepers to work and its corresponding income, benefits, and inherent social network. This research investigated the degree of stigma present in hiring managers towards potential employees with: a) normal behaviour, b) symptoms of depression, and c) symptoms of depression and a diagnostic label of depression. One hundred and sixty two hiring managers read three vignettes describing a potential employee, and completed scales assessing each of the three components of stigma (stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination). Results revealed that hiring managers possessed a significantly greater degree of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination toward a potential employee depicted as displaying symptoms of depression compared to a potential employee depicted as displaying no depression symptoms. The addition of a depression diagnosis increased hiring managers’ degree of stereotypes, but did not have a significant effect on reported prejudice or discrimination. This research has important implications for stigma-change, recruitment discrimination and mental illness disclosure in the workplace.
Keyword Stigma towards potential employees
Mental illness
Symtoms of depression

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Created: Tue, 26 Jun 2012, 00:55:36 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology