The Mediating Role of Internalized Stigma and Shame on the Relationship between COVID-19 Related Discrimination and Mental Health Outcomes among Back-to-School Students in Wuhan

Hao Li, Ling Zheng, Hong Le, Lijun Zhuo, Qian Wu, Guoqing Ma, Hongbing Tao
2020 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
Outbreaks of an epidemic, such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), always brings about far-ranging discrimination and stigmatization to the epicenter. This was a cross-sectional survey conducted to assess experienced discrimination, internalized stigma, shame, and mental health (anxiety, depression, distress, insomnia) among college students who merely had a perceived linkage with COVID-19, and explore the linkage between discrimination and negative mental health outcomes through the
more » ... through the mediating effects of shame and internalized stigma. A total of 995 participants (53% female) were involved in this study, in which 40.9% of college students were reported to be discriminated against because of their experience in Wuhan. The experience of COVID-19-related discrimination is indirectly associated with anxiety, depression, and insomnia, in which shame and internalized stigma play a complete mediating effect. Meanwhile, it is both directly and indirectly associated with distress through shame and internalized stigma. The findings of this study suggest that COVID-19-related discrimination is associated with shame and internalized stigma, which in turn predict psychological symptoms over time.
doi:10.3390/ijerph17249237 pmid:33321881 fatcat:ydcuwupso5bkjpgh7f35gwqnda