People with mental illness and their family caregivers often perceive public stigma, which may lead to stigma-related stress (or stigma stress). However, no instruments have been developed to measure this stress for family caregivers of people with mental illness. We modified an instrument that measures the stigma stress of people with mental illness (i.e., the cognitive appraisal of stigma as a stressor) and examined the psychometric properties of the scores of the newly developed instrument: the Family Stigma Stress Scale (FSSS). Primary family caregivers of people with mental illness in Southern Taiwan (n = 300; mean age = 53.08 ± 13.80; 136 males) completed the FSSS. An exploratory factor analysis showed that the FSSS score had two factors; both factor scores had excellent internal consistency (α =.913 and.814) and adequate test–retest reliability (r =.627 and.533; n = 197). Significant correlations between FSSS factor scores and other instruments supported its concurrent validity and the ability of the FSSS to differentiate between clinical characteristics, for example, having been previously hospitalized or not. The FSSS is a brief and effective measure of the stigma stress of family caregivers of people with mental illness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy