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Stigmatization of cancer patients


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Dumančić, Marta. (2015). Stigmatization of cancer patients. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Psychology. [mentor Jelić, Margareta].

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Stigma refers to a deeply discrediting attribute that reduces the bearer from a whole and usual person to a tainted, less worthy one, and persons suffering from malignant diseases are often stigmatized for their condition. The aim of this study was to investigate how people with cancer perceive others’ reactions to their disease, to examine whether the beliefs and behaviours that they have experienced as stigmatizing are present among psychology students and whether there is a difference in expressing those beliefs and behaviours between the students of the first two and the second two years of study. In the qualitative part of the research we conducted an interview and a focus group with young people who have had cancer. Analysis of their responses showed that the stigma associated with cancer is expressed through the pessimism associated with the outcome of the disease, beliefs about the dysfunction of cancer patients, stereotypes of cancer patients and discomfort in communication with them. In the quantitative part of the research psychology students were asked to complete a Questionnaire about stigmatizing beliefs and behaviours towards cancer patients, which was constructed on the basis of the response analysis of the focus group participants and literature. The results showed that the students of the second two years of study show lower scores on stereotypes subscale, dysfunctions subscale and the whole questionnaire, which implicates that the students of the second two years of study express less stigmatizing beliefs and behaviours. Students who have had some sort of contact with cancer patients showed significantly lower scores on the subscales of discomfort in communicating with patients than those who did not have that kind of experience and have also shown significantly lower scores on the whole questionnaire about stigmatizing beliefs and behaviours.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer, stigma, psychology students
Subjects: Psychology > Socijalna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Jelić, Margareta
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 08:49
Last Modified: 13 May 2016 08:49

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