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Mental Illness and Stigma from a Socioeconomic Perspective

Pybus, Katie (2018) Mental Illness and Stigma from a Socioeconomic Perspective. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Background: The stigma associated with mental illness has a detrimental impact on a range of outcomes for those who experience it. Further to this, repeated attempts to address the health and social inequalities associated with mental illness have had limited success and these remain entrenched. Such patterns of marginalisation may be exacerbated by difficult economic circumstances. The thesis aims to explore the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the stigma associated with mental illness, with particular reference to the post-2007 recession context in the UK and Europe. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used incorporating three studies. Interviews with welfare claimants experiencing mental illness and an administrative data analysis investigated the impact of recent UK welfare reforms in relation to experiences of stigma and disadvantage. A cross-national European analysis explored the relationship between socioeconomic factors and attitudes towards people with mental illness. Findings: Interviewees (n=18) described feeling stigmatised, disempowered and financially disadvantaged by their experiences of the UK welfare system. Analysis of administrative data on claimants revealed that people with mental illnesses are around 2.40 (95% CI: 2.36, 2.44) times more likely to be considered ineligible for extra-cost disability payments than people with other health conditions following recent reforms. European data suggests that individual financial difficulties, greater income inequality and a higher disability poverty and social exclusion gap are key socioeconomic factors that associated with less tolerant attitudes towards people with mental illnesses. Conclusion: Taken together, the findings suggest that micro and macro level economic factors are implicated in stigma and can contribute to climates of tolerance or disadvantage for people with mental illnesses. Extending the parity of esteem agenda to other institutions such the welfare system may assist with addressing some of these inequalities, alongside greater recognition of the role of socioeconomic factors and power in perpetuating stigma and disadvantage.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.772952
Depositing User: Mrs Katie Pybus
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 13:07
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 13:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23426

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