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Stigma

Stigma is a mark of disgrace that represents a socially devalued status. In his seminal work on stigma in 1963, Erving Goffman elaborated that stigma is something that taints a person and leads others to discard him or her. Since then, stigma has been increasingly recognized as a human rights concern. Stigma curtails opportunities through the limitation of independent housing, employment prospects, educational attainment, and social relationships. Stigma also contributes to the overall burden of disease through increasing stress and discouraging treatment access. Considering that individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders are among the most highly stigmatized in the world, stigma has serious consequences for their quality of life. This entry begins by reviewing stigma theory. It then outlines and reviews evidence of the different ...

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