Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 83–94 | Cite as

The Parents’ Self-Stigma Scale: Development, Factor Analysis, Reliability, and Validity

  • Kim EatonEmail author
  • Jeneva L. Ohan
  • Werner G. K. Stritzke
  • Patrick W. Corrigan
Original Article


For parents of children with a mental health disorder, self-stigma can negatively impact their self-esteem and empowerment. Although measures of self-stigma exist, these have not been created in consultation with parents of children with a mental health disorder. Thus, the aim of this study was to construct a new scale based on parents’ experiences and developed in partnership with parents through participatory action research (PAR). Draft items that reflect parents’ self-stigmas were drawn from qualitative research. A PAR group further developed these items for conceptual and experiential representativeness, and wording suitability and interpretability. With data from 424 parents of children with a mental health disorder, factor analyses indicated three factors: self-blame, self-shame, and bad-parent self-beliefs. These factors were negatively correlated with self-esteem and empowerment. Internal consistencies were acceptable. In sum, parent self-stigma is best operationalised as including self-blame, self-shame, and bad-parent self-beliefs. A valid, PAR-informed measure is provided to promote consistent, authentic, and sensitive measurement of these components.


Mental illness Self-stigma Shame Blame Bad-parent 



We extend our sincerest gratitude to the parents, individuals, organisations, and groups who have contributed to and supported this research.


This research was funded by the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, and The University of Western Australia School of Psychological Science.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of The University of Western Australia, Human Research Ethics Office.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychological ScienceUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Lewis College of Human SciencesIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA
  3. 3.National Consortium on Stigma and EmpowermentChicagoUSA

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