First Advisor

Jennifer Dimoff

Date of Publication

Spring 6-5-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology






Stigma (Social psychology), Employees -- Mental health, Mental illness -- Public opinion, Work environment, Discrimination against the mentally ill



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 122 pages)


Although 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness at some point, each year people with mental illnesses continue to face high levels of stigmatization and discrimination at work. Recognizing this, many organizational researchers and practitioners have sought to improve workplaces for employees with mental illness through a variety of organizational interventions. Unfortunately, few interventions are thoroughly evaluated. One barrier to evaluating such interventions is the lack of a theoretically meaningful measure of workplace mental illness stigma. In this dissertation, I proposed to develop and evaluate such a measure (the W-MISS) based on Jones, Farina, Hastorf, Markus, Miller, and Scott's (1984) six-dimension stigma framework (i.e., concealability, course, disruptiveness, aesthetics, origin, and peril). To do so, I used Hinkin's (1998) approach: Phase 1) item generation was completed by 8 subject matter experts; Phase 2) content validity evidence was provided by 47 adults with management experience and 7 subject matter experts; Phase 3) exploratory factor analysis was conducted based on responses from 300 adults with management experience; Phase 4) confirmatory factor analysis was conducted based on responses from 200 adults with management experience; Phase 5) convergent and discriminant validity evidence was provided by 101 adults with management experience; and Phase 6) predictive validity evidence with regard to hiring discrimination was provided by 365 adults with management experience. Overall, the results supported the hypothesized factorial structure, convergent and discriminant validity, and predictive utility of the W-MISS. Findings provide empirical support for Jones et al.'s (1984) theoretical stigma framework in a workplace context for mental illness and represent the first comprehensive measure development drawing on these dimensions for any stigmatized identity in a workplace context. Further, results demonstrate the potential for scholarly and practical utility of such a measure.


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