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Title

Substance Use Stigma of Marijuana Users: Does Contact with Marijuana Users Predict Stigma?

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Stigma affects all aspects of life for those who are subject to stigmatization through social rejection, interpersonal disruption, and broken identity. As contact with stigmatized group’s increases, this leads to less stigmatization. One of the most commonly used illegal substances is marijuana. The current study examined the association between the level of familiarity and contact with marijuana users and stigmatized views, as well as the moderating role of gender and race/ethnicity in this association. Furthermore, the study examined whether differences exist for individuals who are similar to the substance user based on ethnicity, gender, and/or socioeconomic status. A sample of 286 undergraduate students from a Midwestern University reported on their level of contact and familiarity with marijuana users, as well as their preferred social distance, perceived dangerousness, and negative emotions toward marijuana users. Findings indicate a strong negative association between the latent indicators of level of familiarity and contact with the level of stigma, even when controlling for income, ethnicity, and gender. Moderation analyses indicate higher overall preferred social distance for females and whites when familiarity and contact are low. Additionally, analyses indicate higher overall perceived dangerousness for females and whites when contact is low. When contact is high, whites have lower perceived dangerousness. Similar results were found for the medium and low income vignettes. Findings have implications for interventions that seek to target anti-stigma attitudes and perceptions.

Start Date

25-4-2015 12:00 PM

End Date

25-4-2015 1:15 PM

Faculty Advisor

Dilbur D. Arsiwalla

Comments

Location: Great Reading Room, Seerley Hall

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Apr 25th, 12:00 PM Apr 25th, 1:15 PM

Substance Use Stigma of Marijuana Users: Does Contact with Marijuana Users Predict Stigma?

Stigma affects all aspects of life for those who are subject to stigmatization through social rejection, interpersonal disruption, and broken identity. As contact with stigmatized group’s increases, this leads to less stigmatization. One of the most commonly used illegal substances is marijuana. The current study examined the association between the level of familiarity and contact with marijuana users and stigmatized views, as well as the moderating role of gender and race/ethnicity in this association. Furthermore, the study examined whether differences exist for individuals who are similar to the substance user based on ethnicity, gender, and/or socioeconomic status. A sample of 286 undergraduate students from a Midwestern University reported on their level of contact and familiarity with marijuana users, as well as their preferred social distance, perceived dangerousness, and negative emotions toward marijuana users. Findings indicate a strong negative association between the latent indicators of level of familiarity and contact with the level of stigma, even when controlling for income, ethnicity, and gender. Moderation analyses indicate higher overall preferred social distance for females and whites when familiarity and contact are low. Additionally, analyses indicate higher overall perceived dangerousness for females and whites when contact is low. When contact is high, whites have lower perceived dangerousness. Similar results were found for the medium and low income vignettes. Findings have implications for interventions that seek to target anti-stigma attitudes and perceptions.