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Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology





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In North America, Asians reliably report higher levels of stigma toward people with depression than do Europeans. Possible methods of reducing this discrepancy have rarely been explored. Asian undergraduate students ( n = 132) were presented with one of four antistigma videos with two actresses: one portraying a student with depression and the other a professor. The videos used the concept of social proof, presenting either positive or negative descriptive norms, to effect change in stigma, measured by social distance. It was hypothesized that the positive descriptive norms intervention would show significantly greater positive change in social distance compared with the negative descriptive norms intervention. All videos were effective in reducing preferred social distance toward people with depression relative to the control condition. The effectiveness of the positive descriptive norm video was mediated through descriptive norms and self-efficacy. The effectiveness of the negative descriptive norm video was mediated through injunctive norms and perceived value of support. The findings can help guide interventions that aim to encourage social engagement with people with depression among Asian student populations. Manipulating social norms and increasing self-efficacy may be especially effective.


Francois B. Botha et al, Reducing the Stigma of Depression Among Asian Students: A Social Norm Approach, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (48, 1) pp. . Copyright © 2017. DOI: 10.1177/0022022116674598. Users who receive access to an article through a repository are reminded that the article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference. For permission to reuse an article, please follow our Process for Requesting Permission.

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