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Title

The Relationship Between Religiosity and Substance Use Stigmatization: The Mediating Role of Contact and Familiarity

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

For those who are subject to stigmatization, stigma is a very powerful thing that affects every aspect of their life (Feldman & Crandall, 2007). Less research has explored stigma towards substance users, particularly towards marijuana users. Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illegal substances. With substance users being one of the most common targets for stigmatization, it will be important for public policy to assess the factors that affect this stigma (Palamar, Kiang & Halkitis, 2012). Prior research has revealed that the level of religiosity predicts their stigmatization (Shen, Haggard, Strassburger, & Rowatt, 2013). In the current study, we examined factors that predict the stigmatization of marijuana users among 272 undergraduate students from a public Midwestern University using online surveys. Individuals who were more religious were more likely to demonstrate greater stigma towards marijuana users (i.e., have greater social distance, greater perceived danger, and higher negative affect). However, we found that the level of contact and familiarity mediated the relationship between religiosity and stigma. Specifically, individuals who were more religious tended to have less contact and familiarity, which in turn predicted greater stigma. The findings have implications for interventions that seeks to reduce stigmatization towards substance users.

Start Date

25-4-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

25-4-2015 9:45 AM

Faculty Advisor

Dilbur D. Arsiwalla

Comments

Location: Great Reading Room, Seerley Hall

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Apr 25th, 8:30 AM Apr 25th, 9:45 AM

The Relationship Between Religiosity and Substance Use Stigmatization: The Mediating Role of Contact and Familiarity

For those who are subject to stigmatization, stigma is a very powerful thing that affects every aspect of their life (Feldman & Crandall, 2007). Less research has explored stigma towards substance users, particularly towards marijuana users. Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illegal substances. With substance users being one of the most common targets for stigmatization, it will be important for public policy to assess the factors that affect this stigma (Palamar, Kiang & Halkitis, 2012). Prior research has revealed that the level of religiosity predicts their stigmatization (Shen, Haggard, Strassburger, & Rowatt, 2013). In the current study, we examined factors that predict the stigmatization of marijuana users among 272 undergraduate students from a public Midwestern University using online surveys. Individuals who were more religious were more likely to demonstrate greater stigma towards marijuana users (i.e., have greater social distance, greater perceived danger, and higher negative affect). However, we found that the level of contact and familiarity mediated the relationship between religiosity and stigma. Specifically, individuals who were more religious tended to have less contact and familiarity, which in turn predicted greater stigma. The findings have implications for interventions that seeks to reduce stigmatization towards substance users.