Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen


The internalization of stigmatizing beliefs is influential on the attitudes a person holds toward seeking help because it leads to harm on one’s self-esteem and concept of self (Corrigan, 2004). The Model of Self-Stigma (Corrigan, Watson, & Barr, 2006) outlines the process of how self-stigma develops and highlights the essential role agreement with negative stereotypes has on the development of self-stigma. Research on the stereotypes relevant to African Americans is limited, and no scale exists to measure stereotype endorsement specific to this population. The current study investigated the relevant beliefs held among African Americans toward psychological help seeking and developed a scale to examine the stereotype endorsement stage of the Model of Self-Stigma. Study one involved conducting an Exploratory Factor Analysis on 228 participants and produced one single factor describing help seeking beliefs for the population. Study two involved conducting hierarchical linear regressions on 148 participants to determine whether the Psychological Help Seeking Stereotypes for African Americans (PHSSA) scale accounted for unique variance beyond existing stereotype endorsement scales developed on majority White samples. Results indicated that the PHSSA scale accounted for unique variance beyond that of the existing stereotype endorsement scales. Implications for the PHSSA scale are discussed.




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