Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social workers' perceptions of individuals who use drugs and alcohol problematically
by Chahine, Jennifer, M.S.W., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 63; 1523096
Abstract (Summary)

Objective: Studies have shown that people often report stigma as a barrier to entering treatment for substance related conditions. This study attempted to determine whether if using stigmatizing language when referring to individuals with substance related conditions would perpetuate stigmatizing attitudes among social worker and other behavioral health professionals.

Methods: Participants were asked to read a vignette that contained one of two terms substance abuser or substance use disorder to rate their agreement with a number of related statements. N = 65, Master's level Social workers (25%) and other behavioral health professionals (75%). A likert-scale questionnaire with three subscales (perpetuator-punishment, victim-treatment, and social threat) was used to assessed whether the character was a social threat, able to regulate substance use, and should receive punitive or treatment option.

Results: No significant differences were found on the social-treat or victim treatment subscales. However, a difference was detected on the perpetuator-punishment scale. Those who responded to the substance abuser vignette in specialization Other were more likely to perceive the character as culpable.

Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that there is chance that it may matter how we refer to individuals with problematic substance and/or alcohol use. The term substance abuser may influence stigmatizing attitudes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brocato, Jo
Commitee: Glezakos, Agathi, Santhiveeran, Janaki
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Health sciences
Keywords: Drug abuse, Social work and stigma, Social work perceptions, Stigma and views, Stigma of drug use, Stigma of drugs
Publication Number: 1523096
ISBN: 9781303203060
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