Self-stigma, self-esteem and age in persons with schizophrenia

Perla Werner, Alex Aviv, Yoram Barak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The relationship between self-stigma and self-esteem in patients with schizophrenia is receiving increased attention. However, studies to date have been limited to samples of persons under the age of 65. Aim: To examine the relationship between self-stigma and self-esteem in people with schizophrenia in both younger and older age groups. Methods: Face-to-face interviews were completed with 86 inpatients with schizophrenia in a psychiatric hospital (mean age = 54, 55% female). Self-esteem was assessed using Rosenberg's Self Esteem Scale. Self-stigma was assessed using an adapted version of the Internalized Stigma of Mental Health (ISMI) scale. Information regarding socio-demographic characteristics and psychiatric history and symptomatology was collected. Results: Self-stigma was moderate with only 20-33% of the participants reporting high levels of stigmatization. Older participants reported lower levels of self-stigma than younger participants. A relatively strong association between self-stigma and self-esteem was found. Conclusions: The findings point to the complexity of the association between self-stigma, self-esteem and age in people with schizophrenia. This study stresses the importance of clinicians taking the issue of self-stigma into consideration when treating young and old patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-187
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Elderly persons
  • Mental disorders
  • Stigmatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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