Bruce Link Edits Handbook on Stigma and Health

Entries in the book outline how the experience of stigmatization devalues certain people and groups

The effects of stigma on health are the subject of a new handbook edited by Bruce Link, a distinguished professor of public policy and sociology at UC Riverside.

Published this month by Oxford University Press, “The Oxford Handbook of Stigma, Discrimination, and Health” features contributions from social and health psychologists, sociologists, public health scholars, and medical ethicists. Together, their entries outline how the experience of stigmatization devalues certain people and groups, negatively affecting their health by causing stress, restricting them from community-level resources, and often exposing them to toxic environments.

Link, whose research tackles the causes and consequences of health disparities, worked with co-editors Brenda Major, a distinguished professor of psychological and brain sciences at UC Santa Barbara, and John F. Dovidio, the Carl Iver Hovland professor of psychology and public health at Yale University, to compile research from more than 50 internationally based experts.

“When we devalue others — when we exclude them, diminish them, discriminate against them, and seek to control them — we compromise their health,” Link said. “Our conclusion is that stigma creates health disparities, and that a full response to those disparities requires strong approaches to addressing stigma and its harmful consequences.”

Tess Eyrich 

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