Stigma Scientific Interest Group
Stigma plays a fundamental role in the development and perpetuation of health inequities in the context of a range of diseases including cancer, epilepsy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, mental illness, and obesity. Stigmatized individuals can be excluded from effective or quality treatment and care and may be subject to human rights abuses, which in turn can lead to healthcare avoidance and adverse health outcomes. Stigma is associated with increased psychiatric morbidity, particularly depression and anxiety, and it has repeatedly been associated with decreased quality of life and poorer functioning across conditions. Coping with having a stigmatized identity and accompanying discrimination can have deleterious effects on their own. Although research across disciplines finds that drivers of stigma are similar, current research is siloed by disease or population, limiting opportunities for research that builds upon the progress made across disciplines.
The Stigma SIG includes participation by many NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices (ICOs) with an interest in cross-cutting, theoretically-driven research that advances measurements of stigma to examine the biological, behavioral and social mechanisms and pathways by which it leads to poor health outcomes. The group includes both intramural and extramural scientists highlighting our interest in the development and testing of stigma-reduction interventions to improve health outcomes. To advance these objectives, the Stigma SIG works to evaluate the state of science; disseminate scientific information; and advance NIH research priorities through conference symposia, meetings, and white papers.
Regular activities include monthly meetings, a quarterly seminar on Campus and a range of activities both inside and outside the NIH, including major conferences and summits, lectures and collaborations with other Federal and Non-Federal entities. Regular meetings highlight stigma research that is conducted at and funded by NIH as well as the scientific priorities and related activities of participating ICs. Meetings are also used to advance collaborative, cross-cutting projects pursued by the SIG. In addition to regular meetings, the Stigma SIG may host a webinar series to showcase cutting edge research on stigma measurement and approaches to optimize health and well-being outcomes.
To join the Stigma Scientific Interest Group mailing list, please visit the Stigma Scientific Interest Group Listserv home page, then click the “Subscribe or Unsubscribe” link in the right sidebar.
- Laura Koehly, Ph.D., NHGRI
Scientific Focus Areas
Social and Behavioral Sciences
This page was last updated on Thursday, August 12, 2021