Scholars and practitioners in health communication are interested in how individuals cope with stigmatization. Stigma is generally understood as a discrediting physical or figurative mark that is perceived as applying to an individual. Stigmatization occurs when someone perceives that an individual embodies a particular stigma. This communication process frequently stems from the presence of various physical and mental health conditions. The experience of stigmatization has been linked to a number of negative outcomes for the stigmatized individual. Therefore, research on and understanding of ways that individuals can and do cope with stigmatization is valued in the field of health communication. Most of the research on stigma management has focused on identifying various coping strategies used by stigmatized individuals. This entry discusses the most commonly identified ...

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