PTSD and Public Stigma: Examining the Relationship Between Public Stigmas Attached to PTSD and Self-Esteem, Spirituality, and Well-Being

Michael Weinberg*, Michal Soffer, Ohad Gilbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The main goal of the present study was to examine the association between personal characteristics and public stigma toward posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) survivors.

METHOD: Two hundred and ninety ( N = 290) Israeli participants completed a survey that included demographic, self-esteem, spirituality, well-being, and stigma questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, correlations, linear regressions, and structural-equation modeling were conducted in order to examine the study model and hypotheses.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The study findings demonstrate that self-esteem is associated with higher levels of belief that mental-health professionals can provide effective treatment for PTSD survivors, that survivors can recover and maintain normal relationships, and that survivors are not inclined to neglect their appearance and feel comfortable and calm with PTSD survivors. Spirituality is associated with a belief in professionals' ability to effectively treat PTSD and lower levels of belief that survivors are easily noticeable. Well-being is associated with a belief that survivors are careless with their hygiene and feel anxious around PTSD survivors. Muslim participants were more likely than Jewish participants to believe that survivors can fully recover, are careless with their hygiene, and that it is relatively easy to spot survivors. They were also more likely to feel anxious around survivors. Acquaintance with a PTSD survivor was associated with lower levels of belief that it would be difficult to maintain a relationship with a survivor and a stronger belief that survivors are relatively easy to spot. These findings make an important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between personal characteristics and the public stigmas attached to PTSD survivors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • TSD
  • public stigma
  • self-esteem
  • spirituality
  • well-being

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