Background Studies have shown that beyond public and self stigma, stigma can also impact family members. Only scant research has examined the internalised aspects of stigma, known as affiliate stigma, among family caregivers of individuals with disabilities. This study examined affiliate stigma among family caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities via a comparison between caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and physical disabilities (PD) in Israel.
Methods Family caregivers (n = 171) of individuals with developmental disabilities, mainly ID (22.4%), ASD (32.9%) and PD (27.1%), completed a selfreport structured questionnaire including the Affiliate Stigma Scale and background variables.
Results Results supported a one-factor structure for the Affiliate Stigma Scale. Overall, affiliate stigma was relatively low in this sample, but was found to be higher among caregivers of individuals with ASD when compared with caregivers of individuals with ID or PD.
Conclusion Findings from this study point to the importance of supporting caregivers of individuals with ASD to decrease their feelings of stigma. It is also important to further develop scales measuring affiliate stigma in order to capture the multidimensional nature of the concept.
This artical was summerized and translated to Hebrew with the consent of the researcher.