M. J. Fuster-RuizdeApodaca, F. Molero, F. Holgado
Mar 2, 2014
Quality of Life Research
PurposeThis study analyzes the mediating role of social identity in the relationship between enacted stigma and internalized stigma and quality of life of people with HIV.MethodsA total of 557 people with HIV participated in this study. Participants were recruited from hospitals and non-governmental organizations. Questionnaires measuring perceived stigma (Berger’s HIV Stigma Scale), social identity (Cameron’s three factor identity scale), and quality of life (Ruiz and Baca’s Quality of Life Questionnaire) were administered. The instruments were adapted for use with the Spanish population. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the mediation model, and multigroup SEM was conducted to evaluate its invariance.ResultsBoth enacted stigma and internalized stigma had a negative influence on the quality of life of people with HIV, but this influence occurred in different ways. Enacted stigma had a direct negative influence on quality of life. No dimension of group identity protected people with HIV from its negative influence. However, the negative influence of internalized stigma was totally mediated by some dimensions of group identification, mainly through in-group affect.ConclusionsGroup identification not only did not protect people with HIV from the negative effects of stigmatization, but it may even be detrimental in the case of internalized stigma. This suggests that in highly stigmatized groups, the salience of identity is negative and worsens the members’ opinion of their own group. This argues for different kinds of intervention to improve the quality of life of people with HIV.