American Sociological Association

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  1. "Sorry, Im Not Accepting New Patients": An Audit Study of Access to Mental Health Care

    Through a phone-based field experiment, I investigated the effect of mental help seekers’ race, class, and gender on the accessibility of psychotherapists. Three hundred and twenty psychotherapists each received voicemail messages from one black middle-class and one white middle-class help seeker, or from one black working-class and one white working-class help seeker, requesting an appointment. The results revealed an otherwise invisible form of discrimination. Middle-class help seekers had appointment offer rates almost three times higher than their working-class counterparts.

  2. "Im Not Mentally Ill": Identity Deflection as a Form of Stigma Resistance

    Mental illness identity deflection refers to rebuffing the idea that one is mentally ill. Predictors of identity deflection and its consequences for well-being were examined for individuals with mental disorders in the National Comorbidity Study–Replication (N = 1,368). Respondents more often deflected a mental illness identity if they had a nonsevere disorder, had low impairment in functioning, had no treatment experience, viewed possible treatment as undesirable, and held multiple social roles, consistent with theory about stigma resistance.

  3. Life Course Pathways to Racial Disparities in Cognitive Impairment among Older Americans

    Blacks are especially hard hit by cognitive impairment at older ages compared to whites. Here, we take advantage of the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2010) to assess how this racial divide in cognitive impairment is associated with the racial stratification of life course exposures and resources over a 12-year period among 8,946 non-Hispanic whites and blacks ages 65 and older in 1998. We find that blacks suffer from a higher risk of moderate/severe cognitive impairment at baseline and during the follow-up.

  4. Pathways from Early Childhood Adversity to Later Adult Drug Use and Psychological Distress: A Prospective Study of a Cohort of African Americans

    Drawing on the life course perspective, this research addresses the direct and indirect pathways between childhood adversity and midlife psychological distress and drug use across a majority of the life span in an African American cohort (N = 1,242) followed from age 6 to 42 (1966 to 2002). Results from structural equation models highlight the impact of low childhood socioeconomic status (SES), poor maternal mental health, and the role of first-grade maladaptation in launching a trajectory of social maladaptation from age 6 to 42.

  5. Imprisoned by Empathy: Familial Incarceration and Psychological Distress among African American Men in the National Survey of American Life

    The stress process model predicts that current incarceration of a family member should damage the health status of the inmate’s relatives. We address this prediction with data from the National Survey of American Life, focusing exclusively on African American men (n = 1,168). In survey-adjusted generalized linear models, we find that familial incarceration increases psychological distress, but its effect attenuates ostensibly after controlling for other chronic strains.

  6. A Less Stressed, Less Harried--and Slightly Happier--America

    Americans feel more stressed than ever, but data shows more free time and steadily high rates of happiness.

  7. Different Contexts, Different Effects?: Work Time and Mental Health in the United States and Germany

    We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (13,186 respondents in 30 states) to develop a unique state-level measure of the gendered context in order to examine the influence of gender normative attitudes and behaviors on state rates of suicidal ideation and individual-level suicidal ideation for female and male youth (ages 13 to 22). The findings demonstrate the negative consequences for youth, especially females who report feminine-typical traits, who live in contexts defined by restrictive gender norms at both the ecological and individual levels.

  8. Multiple Chronic Conditions, Spouses Depressive Symptoms, and Gender within Marriage

    Multiple chronic conditions (i.e., multimorbidity) increase a person’s depressive symptoms more than having one chronic condition. Little is known regarding whether multimorbidity similarly increases the depressive symptoms of one’s spouse and whether this depends on type of condition, gender, or both spouses’ health status. Analysis of multiple waves of the Health and Retirement Study reveals husband’s number of chronic conditions is positively related to wife’s depressive symptoms when both spouses are chronically ill.

  9. Stigma Resistance and Well-being among People in Treatment for Psychosis

    We examine whether individuals’ coping strategies help to explain the negative relationships of stigma-related stressors (perceived public devaluation, discrimination experiences, and internalized stigma) with their well-being (self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and quality of life). Two forms of stigma resistance (challenging and deflecting) were compared with concealment responses (maintaining secrecy, avoiding other people). Patients with psychoses at four psychiatric hospitals were interviewed (N = 65).

  10. Unburdening Stigma: Identity Repair through Rituals in Mental Health Court

    A growing trend in the criminal justice system is the move toward problem-solving courts, including mental health courts. Using case studies of two mental health courts in a West Coast city, this article seeks to explore how mental health courts may operate by reducing stigma among clients. From observations of the court process in mental health courts and qualitative interviews with mental health court professional staff and mental health court clients, ritual process emerged as a powerful theme that underscores the management of social stigma.