Identifying Stigmas of Alcoholics who are Currently in and Graduated from the Treatment Process : A Sociocultural Analysis of Stigmas of Alcoholics
Caddow, Nicole A.
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Stereotyped language is a method in which false or exaggerated beliefs of alcohol addiction can be transmitted and further believed. These stereotypes begin with a cultural representation in media and/or the inherent connotations of being diagnosed as an alcoholic. One-hundred fifty one undergraduate college students were tested in a between-subjects design (57% Caucasian, 13.5% Latino/Hispanic, 10% African American, 13.5% Asian/Pacific Islander, 6% Other/Mixed race). Three scenarios were given in order to determine formed stereotypes. The first described a man named Jack with neutral attributes, the second described Jack as attending weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, the third described Jack as a man who spoke at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as a recovered member. The scale included questions that would evoke stereotypes of alcoholics as non-contributing, an absent parent, fiscally irresponsible, and socially isolated. The test used a Likert rating scale to determine agreement level with statements about the described. Results showed no significant indication that these stereotypes were immediately present in the respondents' assessment of the described individual. There was, however, a significant difference found in respondents who have a family member who has experienced substance dependence and those who have not. Those who have this experience rated the recovered Alcoholics Anonymous member as less socially isolated than those who do not have this experience.
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