Camryn Harris

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Psychology BS



First Advisor

Kenji Noguchi, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



This study investigates whether individuals hold more stigma against minority group members with mental health issues based on race. Individuals are more susceptible to the negligence of treatment and further assistance due to increased stigmatization associated with mental health. Internalized stigma is more prominent within marginalized communities due to various co-existing factors such as socioeconomic status, inadequate resources, aversive health experiences, and low education levels infiltrated by systemic discrimination and structural inequality. In addition, minority group members are also more at risk for mental health disorders due to these factors. Past research has shown that stigmatization against individuals with mental health issues is prevalent, leading to social polarization and worsening symptoms. Therefore, it is critical to understand how stigmatization manifests among different racial groups to promote equitable mental health treatment and reduce the burden of stigma on marginalized communities. To gather data on stigmatization, the researchers presented college students with a series of vignettes describing individuals, some identified as African American and others as White, with various mental health conditions. Participants were asked to rate their level of comfort interacting with the individual to examine their perspectives regarding mental health, as the results will highlight majority group contribution to stigmatization. Studies have shown that majority group’s attitudes towards mental health issues can also influence how services are provided, which can impact the quality and accessibility of care for minority group members. Investigating the role of the majority group members in perpetuating stigma against minority group members with mental health issues can iv provide essential insights into the root causes of mental health stigma and how it can be addressed. This study will have significant implications for policymakers, mental health professionals, and advocacy groups working to reduce stigma against individuals with mental health issues, especially among minority group members.

Included in

Psychology Commons