Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Science

Faculty

Health, Engineering and Science

First Advisor

Dr Greg Dear

Abstract

People who are dependent on alcohol and other drugs (AOD) are often stigmatised. Evidence suggests that the people who provide AOD users with health and welfare supports also feel the stigma experienced by users. However, the literature supporting this proposition consists of inadvertent findings and findings generalised from other populations. A systematic review of the limited research into stigma experienced by people working in the AOD field was conducted. This involved a multi-phase database, journal and website search, with additional hand searching of relevant referenced articles. Overall, 146 relevant studies were found, 38 of which were applicable to this review, 10 pertaining to associative stigma in the AOD field, and 3 reporting results related to AOD workers specifically. Findings indicated that although the stigmatisation of AOD workers occurs, there has been no comprehensive investigation into the phenomenon. Consequently, strategies used to manage stigma in the AOD field lack an empirical basis. Research is needed to clarify the origins, manifestations, and impacts of stigma in relation to working in the AOD field.

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