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Experiences of Stigma-Stress among People Living with Psoriasis in the United States

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Objective: Stigma and stress affect multiple domains of life among stigmatized people. However, although both stigma research and stress research advance, more can be done to connect these 2 important lines of sociological inquiry. Methods: To address this gap, 23 semi-structured interviews were conducted with study participants in the United States to examine the daily lived experiences of stigma-stress among people living with psoriasis. A grounded theory approach was employed in the analyses of participant narratives. Results: Findings uncover ways that anticipated and experienced stigma contribute to burdensome feelings of "being different" and reveal how stigma-stress proliferates, affecting daily functioning of participants and their family and intimate networks. Conclusion: Findings indicate chronicity of stigma-stress experienced by participants is shaped by access to and utilization of personal and social resources. These findings contribute to stigma and stress literature, elucidating the conceptual and practical implications of a stigma-stress nexus experienced daily by those living with a chronic skin condition.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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