Tyler Chui ’22, Gilharia Delva ’21, Robert Hughes ’21, Aliyah Jones ’22, Angela Tassi ’21, and Kennedy Tran ‘22

Majors: Psychology (Tyler), Health Sciences (Gilharia and Angela), Biology and Health Sciences (Robert and Kennedy), and Psychology and Social Work (Aliyah)
Minors: Business Management (Tyler), Psychology (Gilharia and Robert), Biology and Psychology (Angela), and Chemistry and Psychology (Kennedy)
Affiliations: Honors College (Tyler, Aliyah, and Angela) and Veteran (Robert)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jamie Dunaev, Assistant Teaching Professor of Psychology



In 2018, 34.2 million Americans were estimated to have diabetes with the majority of those cases being type 2 diabetes (only 1.6 million Americans were estimated to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; Statistics About Diabetes, 2020). Complications due to sub-optimal glucose levels and vascular disease are some of the many negative outcomes that these individuals tend to experience if their diabetes is not properly managed (Schabert et al., 2013). In addition to experiencing stigma due to their condition, such as being blamed for their condition or being mistaken as drug users when injecting insulin, studies have found that those with diabetes may also experience internalized stigma (Schabert et al., 2013; Kato et al., 2016). When individuals with diabetes internalize their stigma, they begin to believe the negative stereotypes and attitudes that they are constantly hearing about their condition and may start to apply those views to themselves. Furthermore, they may suffer from poor psychological well-being, be hesitant to seek treatment, and be less likely to follow their treatment regimen causing them to be at risk for overall poor health outcomes (Kato et al., 2016). The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of internalized stigma on an individual’s perceived control of diabetes.

For this presentation, we will be using data collected for a larger study on chronic illness, stigma, and body image. Participants were recruited online using Amazon Mechanical Turk as well as through social media sites and support groups for individuals with chronic pain. A total 232 participants reporting being diagnosed with diabetes (64.2% Type 2 Diabetes; 35.8% Type 1 diabetes). Half of the participants were female, and participants identified as Caucasian/White (83.2%), African American/Black (7.3%), Asian/Pacific Islander (5.6%), or American Indian/Alaskan Native (2.2%). The average age was 37.7 (sd 11.4). In our poster, we examine the association between levels of internalized stigma and general and emotional health for these individuals.