American Sociological Association

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  1. Breaking Down Walls, Building Bridges: Professional Stigma Management in Mental Health Care

    Though most mental health care today occurs in community settings, including primary care, research on mental illness stigma tends to focus on hospitalization or severe mental illness. While stigma negatively impacts the health of those with a range of mental problems, relatively little research examines how providers work with clients to confront and manage mental illness stigma. Calling on 28 interviews with providers in a range of mental health care settings, this paper reveals providers’ roles in managing mental illness stigma.

  2. Mental Illness as a Stigmatized Identity

    In this study, we examine the relationships among reflected appraisals, self-views, and well-being for individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. We also test a perceptual control model of identity to determine whether discrepancies between stigmatized reflected appraisals and stigmatized self-views are associated with self-evaluation (self-esteem and self-efficacy) and psychological distress (depressive symptoms). We find that stigmatized self-views are significantly associated with lower self-esteem and self-efficacy and higher levels of depressive symptoms.

  3. Can Spouses Buffer the Impact of Discrimination on Depressive Symptoms? An Examination of Same-sex and Different-sex Marriages

    Discrimination due to personal characteristics (e.g., gender, sexuality, appearance) is a common yet stressful experience that is detrimental to mental health. Prior work has not considered how spouses in same- and different-sex marriages help each other cope with discrimination despite the importance of marriage for managing stress and adversity. We analyze survey data collected from both spouses in same-sex and different-sex marriages within the United States (N = 836 individuals) to examine whether support from spouses weakens the impact of discrimination on depressive symptoms.

  4. The Enduring Mental Health Effects of Post-9/11 Discrimination in the Context of the Great Recession: Race/Ethnic Variation

    While prior study has linked discrimination experienced as a result of 9/11 with economic insecurity within the context of the Great Recession, the mental health effects of this linkage are unexamined. This study examined whether economic insecurity during the recession era helps account for long-term effects of 9/11-related discrimination on symptoms of depression and anxiety using structural equation modeling techniques to assess data from a national mail survey.

  5. Influence and Social Distance Consequences across Categories of Race and Mental Illness

    This paper describes an experimental study (N = 184) that investigated influence and social distance consequences of a number of attributes in interpersonal interactions. The attributes included race, education, panic disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. Participants interacted with fictitious partners whom they believed were real and who represented the attributes studied. Participants had opportunities to be influenced by and seek distance from their interaction partners. Results showed that low educational attainment and schizophrenia significantly reduced the influence of partners.

  6. Ordinary Lives and the Sociological Character of Stress: How Work, Family, and Status Contribute to Emotional Inequality

    It has been thirty years since the publication of Leonard Pearlin’s (1989) “The Sociological Study of Stress.” This classic work left an indelible mark, shaping the way the field thinks about stressors, their emotional consequences, and the factors that influence the nature of the links between stressors and outcomes.

  7. Weathering, Drugs, and Whack-a-Mole: Fundamental and Proximate Causes of Widening Educational Inequity in U.S. Life Expectancy by Sex and Race, 1990–2015

    Discussion of growing inequity in U.S. life expectancy increasingly focuses on the popularized narrative that it is driven by a surge of “deaths of despair.” Does this narrative fit the empirical evidence? Using census and Vital Statistics data, we apply life-table methods to calculate cause-specific years of life lost between ages 25 and 84 by sex and educational rank for non-Hispanic blacks and whites in 1990 and 2015. Drug overdoses do contribute importantly to widening inequity for whites, especially men, but trivially for blacks.

  8. Crowded Nests: Parent–Adult Child Coresidence Transitions and Parental Mental Health Following the Great Recession

    Although many studies have examined contemporary increases in parent–adult child coresidence, questions about what this demographic shift means for the well-being of parents remain. This article draws on insights from the life course perspective to investigate the relationship between parent–adult child coresidence and parental mental health among U.S. adults ages 50+, distinguishing between parents stably living with and without adult children and those who transitioned into or out of coresidence with an adult child.

  9. The Black-White Paradox Revisited: Understanding the Role of Counterbalancing Mechanisms during Adolescence

    The tendency for blacks to report similar or better mental health than whites has served as an enduring paradox in the mental health literature for the past three decades. However, a debate persists about the mechanisms that underlie this paradox. Drawing on the stress process framework, we consider the counterbalancing roles of self-esteem and traumatic stress exposure in understanding the “black-white paradox” among U.S. adolescents.

  10. Depressive Symptoms Following Later-life Marital Dissolution and Subsequent Repartnering

    The doubling of the divorce rate among individuals over age 50 during the past 20 years underscores the urgency of studying the consequences of gray divorce and subsequent repartnering for adult well-being. We filled this gap by using the 1998-to-2014 Health and Retirement Study to evaluate how the levels of depressive symptoms changed following gray divorce versus widowhood. Individuals who divorced or became widowed already had experienced higher levels of depressive symptoms before dissolution relative to those who remained married.