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Author: Bruce G Link (100)


Dec
2017

Most individuals are stigmatized at some point. However, research often examines stigmas separately, thus underestimating the overall impact of stigma and precluding comparisons across stigmatized identities and conditions. In their classic text, Social Stigma: The Psychology of Marked Relationships, Edward Jones and colleagues laid the groundwork for unifying the study of different stigmas by considering the shared dimensional features of stigmas: aesthetics, concealability, course, disruptiveness, origin, peril.

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Dec
2017

Accounting for non-independence in health research often warrants attention. Particularly, the availability of geographic information systems data has increased the ease with which studies can add measures of the local "neighborhood" even if participant recruitment was through other contexts, such as schools or clinics. We highlight a tension between two perspectives that is often present, but particularly salient when more than one type of potentially health-relevant context is indexed (e.

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Jan
2018

Despite increasing awareness of stigma from mental health service providers as a barrier to recovery, little research has directly examined how it might influence the service users' self-perceptions and treatment experience. The present study examined the association of service users' perceived provider stigma with their experience of internalized stigma and disempowerment, two psychosocial constructs known to hinder recovery. Mental health service users (N = 350) completed questionnaires assessing perceived stigma from mental health service providers, including perceptions of negative affective reactions towards individual users and desired social distance towards people with mental illnesses across various life domains, internalized stigma, and disempowerment (i.

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Jan
2018

Police violence has been identified as a public health concern in the U.S., yet few studies have assessed the prevalence and nature of police violence among women.

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Dec
2017

This study examined the state of obesity, diabetes, and associated health disparities among understudied multiracial, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI), and American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) adults.
Aggregated data for 184,617 adults from the California Health Interview Survey (2005 to 2011) were analyzed to determine obesity, diabetes, poor/fair health, and physical disability prevalence by racial group. Logistic regressions controlling for age, gender, and key social determinants (education, marital status, poverty, health insurance) generated multiracial, NHOPI, and AIAN adults' odds ratios (ORs) for our targeted health conditions versus non-Hispanic white adults.

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Jan
2018

We present an exploratory factor analysis of the 8-item Daily Indignities of Mental Illness (DIMI) scale, created to measure the detection and perceptions of recurring stigma among individuals with recent psychiatric hospitalizations. Structured in-person interviews were conducted with individuals with recent psychiatric hospitalizations in metropolitan New York. The 8-item DIMI scale's internal consistency for the sample (n = 65), measured by Cronbach's alpha, was 0.

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Aug
2017

Racism, whether defined at individual, interpersonal, or structural levels, is associated with poor health among Blacks. This association may arise because exposure to racism causes poor health, but geographic mobility patterns pose an alternative explanation-namely, Black individuals with better health and resources can move away from racist environments.
We examine the evidence for selection effects using nationally representative, longitudinal data (1990-2009) from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (n = 33,852).

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Aug
2017

Improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality reflect the distribution of effective preventions. Social inequalities often generate unequal diffusion of medical interventions, resulting in disparate outcomes while preventions are being disseminated throughout the population. This study used a novel method to examine whether Race (Black versus White) and SES influenced when rates of CRC mortality started to decline, and how rapidly they did so.

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Apr
2017

People who suffer from severe mental illness often present with histories of abuse during childhood. Alcohol use disorders is a common co-morbidity of survivors of childhood abuse and neglect. This study analyzes the effects of stressful childhood experiences, a proxy for trauma, on the frequency of alcohol consumption and the utilization of health care services in a population of people with severe mental illness.

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Feb
2017

An ongoing debate concerns acceptability, benefits, and shortcomings of coercive treatment such as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT). The hypothesis that involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment may lead to a better clinical outcome for a subgroup of persons with severe mental illness (SMI) is controversial. Nonetheless, positive effects of AOT may be mediated by an increased availability of healthcare resources or increased service use.

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Feb
2017

Extensive evidence leads us to expect that health disparities by race and socioeconomic status found in one generation might be reproduced in the next. To the extent that this occurs it is important to assess life course processes responsible for the reproduction. Prospective evidence concerning such life course processes is hard to come by as it requires long-term follow-up of individuals from childhood through adult life.

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Apr
2017

School-based interventions for preadolescents provide the opportunity, in a ubiquitous institutional setting, to attack stigmatizing attitudes before they are firmly entrenched, and thus they may reduce mental illness stigma in the overall population. This study evaluated the effectiveness of classroom-based interventions in reducing stigma and increasing understanding of mental illness and positive attitudes toward treatment seeking among sixth-grade students.
In an ethnically and racially diverse sample (N=721), 40% of participants were Latino, 26% were white, and 24% were African American; the mean age was 11.

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Dec
1969

Fundamental cause theory posits that social inequalities in health arise because of unequal access to flexible resources, including knowledge, money, power, prestige, and beneficial social connections, which allow people to avoid risk factors and adopt protective factors relevant in a particular place. In this study, we posit that diseases should also be put into temporal context. We characterize diseases as transitioning through four stages at a given time: (1) natural mortality, characterized by no knowledge about risk factors, preventions, or treatments for a disease in a population; (2) producing inequalities, characterized by unequal diffusion of innovations; (3) reducing inequalities, characterized by increased access to health knowledge; and (4) reduced mortality/disease elimination, characterized by widely available prevention and effective treatment.

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Jun
2016

In order to enhance the "structural competency" of medicine-the capability of clinicians to address social and institutional determinants of their patients' health-physicians need a theoretical lens to see how social conditions influence health and how they might address them. We consider one such theoretical lens, fundamental cause theory, and propose how it might contribute to a more structurally competent medical profession. We first describe fundamental cause theory and how it makes the social causes of disease and health visible.

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Jun
2016

To determine whether fundamental cause theory (which posits that, in societal conditions of unequal power and resources, members of higher-status groups experience better health than members of lower-status groups because of their disproportionate access to health-protective factors) might be relevant in explaining health disparities related to sexual orientation.
We used 2001 to 2011 morbidity data from the Stockholm Public Health Cohort, a representative general population-based study in Sweden. A total of 66 604 (92.

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Apr
2016

Racial disparities in cancer mortality may be greater for cancers that are amenable to available early detection and treatment (amenability level). We investigated whether these patterns vary by age at cancer diagnosis.
Using 5-year relative survival rates (5Y-RSR), we classified 51 cancer sites into least amenable, partly amenable, and mostly amenable cancers (<40%, 40-69%, ≥70% 5-YRS, respectively).

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Feb
2016

The continuing obesity epidemic in the USA calls for the examination of antecedents to the well-known risk factors of physical activity and diet. The neighborhood built environment has been extensively studied in relation to obesity noting an increased risk of development and prevalence of obesity in relation to numerous built environment characteristics (lack of green spaces, higher number of fast food restaurants, low walkability indices). The neighborhood social environment, however, has been less extensively studied but is perhaps an equally important component of the neighborhood environment.

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Mar
2016

Stigma is widely perceived in the lives of families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) yet large, systematic studies have not been undertaken. Following Link and Phelan's (Ann Rev Sociol 27:363-385, 2001) model, this study of 502 Simons Simplex Collection families details how different factors contribute to stigma and how each appears to increase the overall difficulty of raising a child with ASD. The model begins with the child's behavioral symptoms and then specifies stigma processes of stereotyping, rejection, and exclusion.

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Oct
2015

Despite advances that the psychosis "clinical high-risk" (CHR) identification offers, risk of stigma exists. Awareness of and agreement with stereotypes has not yet been evaluated in CHR individuals. Furthermore, the relative stigma associated with symptoms, as opposed to the label of risk, is not known, which is critical because CHR identification may reduce symptom-related stigma.

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Dec
1969

We had three objectives for our study: 1) to describe the prevalence and burden of experiences of discrimination among Hispanics with poorly controlled diabetes; 2) to evaluate associations among discrimination experiences and their burden with comorbid depression among Hispanics with poorly controlled diabetes; and 3) to evaluate whether discrimination encountered in the health care context itself was associated with comorbid depression for Hispanic adults with diabetes.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data of a randomized controlled trial (RCT).
We collected data in the context of an RCT in a clinical setting in New York City.

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Jun
2015

Important components of stigma include imagining what others might think of a stigmatized status, anticipating what might transpire in an interaction with others, and rehearsing what one might do if something untoward occurs. These imagined relations are here called symbolic interaction stigma and can have an impact even if the internalization of negative stereotypes fails to occur. Concepts and measures that capture symbolic interaction stigma are introduced, and a preliminary assessment of their impact is provided.

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Apr
2016

There is no reported investigation comparing concordance in attitudes and beliefs about autism spectrum disorder between parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and scientists who research autism spectrum disorder. To investigate the level of concordance between these groups on causes of autism, priorities of research, perceived stigma, and disclosure of genetic test results, telephone interviews were conducted. Parents (n = 502) were recruited from the Simons Simplex Collection, and research scientists (n = 60) were recruited from investigators funded by the Simons Foundation.

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Dec
1969

Racial disparities in health are well-documented and represent a significant public health concern in the US. Racism-related factors contribute to poorer health and higher mortality rates among Blacks compared to other racial groups. However, methods to measure racism and monitor its associations with health at the population-level have remained elusive.

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Dec
1969

The association between stressful childhood experiences (SCE) and psychotic symptoms is still not clearly understood, and different causal pathways have been proposed. Generalized estimating equation modeling was used to test the dose-response relationship between SCE and delusions and hallucinations at baseline and follow-up periods and the possible confounding effects of dissociation on this relationship. The prevalence of SCE in individuals with psychotic disorders was high, with more co-occurring SCE categories being positively associated with more types of delusions and hallucinations.

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Sep
2014

Although at first relatively disinterested in race, modern genomic research has increasingly turned attention to racial variations. We examine a prominent example of this focus-direct-to-consumer racial admixture tests-and ask how information about the methods and results of these tests in news media may affect beliefs in racial differences. The reification hypothesis proposes that by emphasizing a genetic basis for race, thereby reifying race as a biological reality, the tests increase beliefs that whites and blacks are essentially different.

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Feb
2015

Fundamental cause theory explains persisting associations between socioeconomic status and mortality in terms of personal resources such as knowledge, money, power, prestige, and social connections, as well as disparate social contexts related to these resources. We review evidence concerning fundamental cause theory and test three central claims using the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality Files 1986-2004. We then examine cohort-based variation in the associations between a fundamental social cause of disease, educational attainment, and mortality rates from heart disease, other "preventable" causes of death, and less preventable causes of death.

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Dec
2014

Aggressive policing and the mental health of young urban men.

Am J Public Health 2014 Dec 16;104(12):2321-7. Epub 2014 Oct 16.
Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan, Tom Tyler, Bruce G Link
We surveyed young men on their experiences of police encounters and subsequent mental health.
Between September 2012 and March 2013, we conducted a population-based telephone survey of 1261 young men aged 18 to 26 years in New York City. Respondents reported how many times they were approached by New York Police Department officers, what these encounters entailed, any trauma they attributed to the stops, and their overall anxiety.

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Apr
2015

Although research robustly indicates that general or "criminogenic" factors predict various measures of recidivism, there is controversy about the extent to which these factors, versus untreated symptoms, lead to justice involvement for people with mental illnesses. Based on a sample of 183 people in intensive outpatient treatment followed for an average period of 34.5 months, the present study tested whether criminogenic factors (i.

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Apr
2013

Could the explosion of genetic research in recent decades affect our conceptions of race? InDuster argues that reports of specific racial differences in genetic bases of disease, in part because they are presented as objective facts whose social implications are not readily apparent, may heighten public belief in more pervasive racial differences. We tested this hypothesis with a multi-method study. A content analysis showed that news articles discussing racial differences in genetic bases of disease increased significantly between 1985 and 2008 and were significantly less likely than non-health-related articles about race and genetics to discuss social implications.

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Aug
2014

The majority of research documenting the public health impacts of natural disasters focuses on the well-being of adults and their living children. Negative effects may also occur in the unborn, exposed to disaster stressors when critical organ systems are developing and when the consequences of exposure are large.
We exploit spatial and temporal variation in hurricane behaviour as a quasi-experimental design to assess whether fetal death is dose-responsive in the extent of hurricane damage.

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Feb
2014

The authors reply.

Am J Epidemiol 2014 Feb;179(4):530-2
Ryan K Masters, Daniel A Powers, Bruce G Link

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Apr
2014

Masters et al. respond.

Am J Public Health 2014 Apr 13;104(4):e5-6. Epub 2014 Feb 13.
Ryan K Masters, Eric N Reither, Daniel A Powers, Y Claire Yang, Andrew E Burger, Bruce G Link

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Feb
2014

Public attitudes and beliefs are relevant to both individual and structural discrimination. They are a reflection of cultural conceptions of mental illness that form a reality that people must take into account when they enact behavior and policy makers must confront when making decisions. Understanding and keeping track of these attitudes is critical to understanding individual and structural discrimination.

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Feb
2014

Stigma power.

Soc Sci Med 2014 Feb;103:24-32
Bruce G Link, Jo Phelan
When people have an interest in keeping other people down, in or away, stigma is a resource that allows them to obtain ends they desire. We call this resource "stigma power" and use the term to refer to instances in which stigma processes achieve the aims of stigmatizers with respect to the exploitation, control or exclusion of others. We draw on Bourdieu (1987, 1990) who notes that power is often most effectively deployed when it is hidden or "misrecognized.

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Jan
2014

This study examines how associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and lung and pancreatic cancer mortality have changed over time in the U.S. The fundamental cause hypothesis predicts as diseases become more preventable due to innovation in medical knowledge or technology, individuals with greater access to resources will disproportionately benefit, triggering the formation or worsening of health disparities along social cleavages.

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Apr
2014

The authors compared attitudes of the U.S. general public and of mental health professionals about the competence and perceived dangerousness of people with mental health problems and the desire for social distance from them.

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Feb
2014

We analyzed singleton births to determine the relationship between birth weight and altitude exposure.
We analyzed 715,213 singleton births across 74 counties from the western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2000. Birth data were obtained from the Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, for registered births.

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Dec
2013

We sought to apply modified labeling theory in a cross-sectional study of alcohol use disorder (AUD) to investigate the mechanisms through which perceived alcohol stigma (PAS) may lead to the persistence of AUD and risk of psychiatric disorder.
We conducted structural equation modeling (SEM) including moderated mediation analyses of two waves (W1 and W2) of data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. We analyzed validated measures of PAS, perceived social support, social network involvement, and psychiatric disorders among (n=3608) adults with two or more DSM-5 AUD symptoms in the first two of the three years between the W1 and W2 survey.

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Jul
2013

The authors reply.

Am J Epidemiol 2013 Jul;178(2):321-3
Ryan K Masters, Daniel A Powers, Bruce G Link

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Sep
2013

Six paths for the future of social epidemiology.

Am J Epidemiol 2013 Sep 5;178(6):843-9. Epub 2013 Sep 5.
Sandro Galea, Bruce G Link
Social epidemiology is now an accepted part of the academic intellectual landscape. However, in many ways, social epidemiology also runs the risk of losing the identity that distinguished it as a field during its emergence. In the present article, we scan the strengths of social epidemiology to imagine paths forward that will make the field distinct and useful to the understanding of population health in future.

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