01-05-2021 | ORIGINAL PAPER
Reducing Stigma Through Interconnectedness and Compassion: a Buddhism-Based Approach to Reduce Stigma Toward People with Mental Illness
Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 7/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
The aims of the present studies were to investigate the effect of interconnectedness in reducing stigmatization of people with mental illness and the ways compassion mediates the effect of interconnectedness on stigma.
Two studies were conducted using college students as participants. In study 1, path analysis was employed to investigate the associations between interconnectedness, compassion, and stigma among people with mental illness. In study 2, an experiment with three conditions (i.e., interconnectedness, compassion, and active control conditions) was conducted to investigate the effect of interconnectedness on stigma reduction. This study also attempted to investigate causally the mediating role of compassion on the effect of interconnectedness on stigma.
Study 1 (n = 135) found that compassion significantly mediated the relationship between interconnectedness and social distance [β = 0.09, 95% CI (0.03 to 0.24), p < 0.001] and interconnectedness and personal advocacy [β = 0.14, 95% CI (0.10 to 0.35), p < 0.001]. Results of repeated measures ANOVA in study 2 (n = 157) found that induction of interconnectedness led to significantly lower social distance but no significant increase in personal advocacy for people with mental illness. No significant effect was found in the compassion condition. Results of path analysis showed that the interconnectedness condition resulted in a higher post-experimental compassion score, which in turn predicted a higher follow-up personal advocacy score 2 weeks later. The compassion condition, however, could not predict a higher post-experimental interconnectedness score. The mediation effect of compassion was supported.
The present study suggests that interconnectedness might reduce stigmatization of people with mental illness directly or through compassion.