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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There is growing recognition that stigma plays an important role in producing health disparities between members of socially advantaged and disadvantaged (marginalized) groups. This chapter defines stigma, describes differences among stigmatized marks, and discusses the functions that stigma may serve for individuals, groups, and societies. It also provides a conceptual model of the pathways by which stigma relates to health. This model posits that socially conferred marks that are devalued in society are the basis for four key stigma processes: enacted stigma, felt stigma, internalized stigma, and anticipated stigma. These stigma processes lead to stress and accompanying individual-level affective, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses, as well as to social and community-level exclusion from important domains of life that collectively have downstream negative consequences for health. This chapter provides an integrative overview of the chapters in the current volume and concludes with suggestions for future research on stigma and health.

Keywords: dimensions of stigma, discrimination, functions of stigma, health, health disparities, prejudice, social determinants of health, stress, stigma

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