American Sociological Association

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  1. Organizational Construction and Interdisciplinary Identity in a New Health Care Organization

    The authors examine the organizational construction of an interdisciplinary brain care center via ethnographic observation of vision and mission-building meetings and semistructured interviews with organizational leaders.

  2. After Moving to Opportunity: How Moving to a Low-poverty Neighborhood Improves Mental Health among African American Women

    A large body of nonexperimental literature finds residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood is deleterious for mental health, and recent evidence from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program—a social experiment giving families living in high-poverty neighborhoods the opportunity to move to low-poverty neighborhoods—suggests a causal effect of moving to a low-poverty neighborhood on adult mental health. We use qualitative data from 67 Baltimore adults who signed up for the MTO program to understand how moving to a low-poverty neighborhood produced these mental health benefits.

  3. Medicalization, Direct-to-Consumer Advertising, and Mental Illness Stigma

    In late 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines that allowed pharmaceutical companies to air prescription drug ads on television. These guidelines have expanded the pharmaceutical industry’s role as one of the major “engines” of medicalization. One arena in which there has been a dramatic increase in direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of pharmaceuticals is the marketing of psychotherapeutic drugs, especially for depression.

  4. Understanding Racial-ethnic Disparities in Health: Sociological Contributions

    This article provides an overview of the contribution of sociologists to the study of racial and ethnic inequalities in health in the United States. It argues that sociologists have made four principal contributions. First, they have challenged and problematized the biological understanding of race. Second, they have emphasized the primacy of social structure and context as determinants of racial differences in disease. Third, they have contributed to our understanding of the multiple ways in which racism affects health.

  5. Coloring Weight Stigma: On Race, Colorism, Weight Stigma, and the Failure of Additive Intersectionality

    America’s obsession with obesity has spawned increasing amounts of research examining how body size shapes social outcomes. Generally, body size negatively correlates with these outcomes, with larger people suffering lower self-esteem, marriage rates, and wages. However, these outcomes are unevenly distributed among racial groups, as black people counterintuitively seem robust to many of the ravages of weight discrimination.

  6. Light Privilege? Skin Tone Stratification in Health among African Americans

    Skin tone is a status characteristic used in society to evaluate and rank the social position of minorities. Although skin color represents a particularly salient dimension of race, its consequences for health remains unclear.

  7. Masculinity and Minority Stress among Men in Same-sex Relationships

    Although previous research has examined associations among masculinity, sexual orientation, minority stress, and mental health, these studies focused exclusively on individuals as units of analysis. This study investigates how men in same-sex relationships uniquely experience minority stress associated with their perceptions and performances of masculinity, as individuals and as couples.

  8. Stigmatization of War Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Stereotyping and Social Distance Findings

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects a significant portion of the US population, but there remains limited information on public responses to affected individuals. Diagnosed mental illnesses can lead to negative stereotyping by the public, who can then socially exclude or otherwise discriminate. This paper presents results of an experiment (N = 830) that assessed the extent to which workers with PTSD labels—either resulting from an auto accident or wartime military service—evoked negative stereotypes in a workplace scenario and social distance from study participants.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.