Psychometric properties of the perceived stigma towards substance users scale: factor structure, internal consistency, and associations with help-seeking variables

Antover P. Tuliao, Derek Holyoak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Stigma toward substance users is a barrier to seeking treatment. Objective: The aim for this paper was to examine the psychometric properties of the Perceived Stigma Toward Substance Users (PSAS) and its relationship with help-seeking variables. Methods: College students (N = 791; nfemales = 557, 70%) responded to the PSAS and other help-seeking-related measures in an online study. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis supported a unidimensional factor structure and acceptable model fit after modifications (CFI =.961; TLI =.937; RMSEA =.067, 90% C.I. =.050 to.085; SRMR =.035). Results indicated good internal consistency estimates (α =.80; ω =.80). The PSAS was negatively associated with intent to seek treatment for substance issues and willingness to self-disclose negative emotions. The PSAS was also positively correlated with stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues, attitudes concerning risk associated with help-seeking, self-concealment, anticipated risks associated with seeking treatment. When embedded within a larger path model that predicts intent to seek treatment for substance use issues (CFI =.925; TLI =.895; RMSEA =.061, 90%C.I. =.052 to.069; p close fit =.019; SRMR =.049), the PSAS had an incremental contribution to predicting the criterion variable even after accounting for frequency of alcohol use-related problems, and stigma and attitudes associated with seeking help for general mental health issues. Conclusion: These findings provide further reliability and validity evidence for PSAS, especially in relation to help-seeking variables. Reducing stigma toward substance users can help increase treatment utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020

Keywords

  • Stigma
  • alcohol use
  • college students
  • drug use
  • help-seeking behavior
  • psychometrics
  • substance use
  • treatment

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