Institute of Mental Health1
Stigma could perpetuate depression, shamefulness and worthlessness in people with mental health disorders. Though Personal Stigma Scale (PSS) can measure stigma, validating it in the local population is especially important in youths who are developing their schema of health conditions. This study aimed to examine the intrapersonal variables influencing personal stigma and report the reliability and validity of PSS amongst youths in Singapore aged 18 to 24 years old.
A convenience sample of 174 youths from a university in Singapore, were split into two groups (n=78 in Group 1; n=96 in Group 2). Internal consistency, divergent validity and construct validity were assessed among both groups of participants. Test re-test reliability was evaluated among 78 participants, at three different time-points. Divergent validity of PSS was also investigated.
Female participants from healthcare courses with prior contact with healthcare professionals and had loved ones with mental health disorders but no personal experiences of mental health disorders, reported significantly lower personal stigma levels. Divergent validity of PSS was demonstrated with Depression Literacy Scale (weak negative correlation) and Anxiety Literacy Scale (moderate negative correlation). Cronbach’s alpha for the entire scale was 0.71, and 0.36 to 0.67 for subscales. Test re–rest reliability coefficients were 0.86 at two weeks and 0.80 at two months.
PSS is a valid and reliable measure of self-stigma among university students in Singapore. Although future studies could examine the scale’s factor structure amongst various culture, an understanding of stigma measured by PSS could facilitate interventions to combat stigma.