Mental illness self-stigma in young people: a scoping review protocol

Rachel Taylor, Nicola Cogan, Pamela Jenkins, Paul Flowers, Xi Liu, Simon C. Hunter, Patrick Corrigan

Research output: Working paper

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Background Self-stigma (the internalisation of negative stereotypes) is known to reduce help-seeking behaviours and treatment adherence in people who have a mental illness, resulting in worsening health outcomes. Moreover, self-stigma diminishes self-esteem and self-efficacy, and leads to higher levels of depression. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness have manifested by the age of 14, and therefore young people are vulnerable to the negative impact of suffering mental illness self-stigma. While literature in this field has been flourishing in recent years, mental illness self-stigma remains poorly understood in youth. It is important that we seek to understand what is currently known about mental illness self-stigma in young people, and subsequently use this information to guide future research to advance knowledge of this topic. To date, a scoping review which maps the available literature on mental illness self-stigma in young people has yet to be conducted. Here, we outline the protocol for a scoping review on mental illness self-stigma in young people.

Methods This protocol outlines the process of conducting a scoping review of primary research concerning mental illness self-stigma in young people. The Joanna Briggs Institute guidance on best practice for conducting a scoping review will utilised throughout. A systematic search of appropriate databases will be conducted which will allow for a two-step screening process and data charting. Inclusion criteria for this review dictates that eligible studies will i) include a population within the age range of 10-35 (or mean age within this range), ii) include the term 'self-stigma' or 'internalised stigma' relating to mental health/illness/disorder, iii) be primary research, iv) be published post-2009 (following the seminal study by Moses, 2009) and v) be published in English.

Discussion The findings of the scoping review outlined in this protocol will be used to inform future research which aims to explore self-stigmatising attitudes and beliefs of young people experiencing mental illness. This research will result in co-produced, impactful resources for young people on the topic of mental illness self-stigma with the aim of raising awareness and stigma reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLaurel Hollow, New York, United States
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2021


  • self-stigma
  • mental illness
  • mental health
  • help-seeking
  • young people
  • scoping review


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