The difference in stigmatizing attributions toward older adults with or without Alzheimer’s disease.

Sarah E. Baumgartner, Patrick W. Corrigan, Hoi Ting Wan, Perla Werner, Christine L. Himes, Sang Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may experience stigma related to having a neurodegenerative disease. This study combined attribution theory and constructs of aging bias (ageism, aging anxiety, anxiety about developing AD) to describe the stigma of AD. Two hundred and fifty-eight Amazon MTurk workers read a vignette describing an older adult, Harry, with either normal aging, mild AD, or severe AD. Structural equation modeling revealed support for a modified attribution model of public stigma of AD. AD severity influenced attributions of blame, pity, and segregation. Participants’ age was not significantly associated with attribution factors, nor ageism or AD threat. Higher ageist attitudes, however, correlated with greater blame, less pity, and more segregation. Participants who were more anxious about personally developing AD were likely to blame Harry less, pity him more, and call for segregation less. Implications in terms of messaging and contact are discussed to challenge the stigma of AD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStigma and Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • ageism
  • aging
  • attitudes
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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