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2004 - American Sociological Association Pages: 45 pages || Words: 11519 words || 
1. Kroska, Amy. and Harkness, Sarah. "Exploring the Modified Labeling Theory of Mental Illness Using Affect Control Theory Measures and Predictions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA,, Aug 14, 2004 Online <.PDF>. 2020-01-29 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Using new measures and some new techniques, we investigate several research questions derived from the modified labeling theory of mental illness. We operationalize stigma beliefs–the expectation that individuals will devalue and discriminate against mental patients–using the evaluation, potency, and activity (EPA) of the identity a mentally ill person. We then examine the relationship between stigma beliefs and the EPA of two self-identities among individuals recently diagnosed with a mental illness (focal respondents) and among individuals on whom these patients rely for support (network respondents). As expected, stigma beliefs are positively related to several dimensions of self-meaning among most focal respondents. Also as predicted, stigma beliefs are unrelated to four of the six dimensions of self-meaning among network respondents. Unexpectedly, however, the beliefs are positively related to two of the network respondents’ self-meanings. We also explore some labeling theory hypotheses using Interact, a computerized version of affect control theory. The simulations consistently support the prediction that the likelihood of social rejection increases after others gain knowledge of an individual’s status as a mental patient. However, they provide less consistent support for the modified labeling theory prediction that mental patients’ stigma beliefs are positively related to their use of the coping behaviors of withdrawing from social interaction, concealing treatment history, and educating others about mental illness.

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