Title

The Effects of Stigma on the Mentally Ill Students' Educational Success

Presenter Information

Melissa Weiner

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Mental Illness, Stigma, Education

Abstract

Previous research shows that people with a mental illness (MI) diagnosis face social stigma. The social stigma of mental illness figures in analyses of the effects of MI on social networks, and a range of other outcomes, including recovery. I address this issue in the context of the postsecondary educational trajectories of students with MI. For students with MI, academic success is an important correlate of recovery. Yet, we lack studies that focus explicitly on the association between the stigma of MI, social networks, and academic outcomes. When students with MI interact with professors, fellow students, and staff, such as disability services staff, the social networks formed by those interactions may reflect the stigmatized nature of their condition. My research looks at: (1) the effects of MI on academic and social networks and support; and (2) the effects of these students’ social and academic networks and support on educational persistence and attainment. My research question is whether the negative effects of stigmatized MI on their educational outcomes are mediated by social and academic networks. I apply these ideas to an analysis of the Beginning Postsecondary Students (2004) dataset, a publicly available, anonymized panel dataset from interviews with beginning college students in 2003/04, again in 2005/6, and again in 2008/9. The dataset includes measures of my key independent variables, including MI and academic and social integration, as well as a range of academic outcomes, from which I draw the dependent variables of my analyses.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Mulcahy

Department/Program

Sociology

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

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May 21st, 11:40 AM May 21st, 12:00 PM

The Effects of Stigma on the Mentally Ill Students' Educational Success

SURC 137A

Previous research shows that people with a mental illness (MI) diagnosis face social stigma. The social stigma of mental illness figures in analyses of the effects of MI on social networks, and a range of other outcomes, including recovery. I address this issue in the context of the postsecondary educational trajectories of students with MI. For students with MI, academic success is an important correlate of recovery. Yet, we lack studies that focus explicitly on the association between the stigma of MI, social networks, and academic outcomes. When students with MI interact with professors, fellow students, and staff, such as disability services staff, the social networks formed by those interactions may reflect the stigmatized nature of their condition. My research looks at: (1) the effects of MI on academic and social networks and support; and (2) the effects of these students’ social and academic networks and support on educational persistence and attainment. My research question is whether the negative effects of stigmatized MI on their educational outcomes are mediated by social and academic networks. I apply these ideas to an analysis of the Beginning Postsecondary Students (2004) dataset, a publicly available, anonymized panel dataset from interviews with beginning college students in 2003/04, again in 2005/6, and again in 2008/9. The dataset includes measures of my key independent variables, including MI and academic and social integration, as well as a range of academic outcomes, from which I draw the dependent variables of my analyses.