Public Health Grand Rounds

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

12:00 PM1:00 PM


Living With Social Disadvantage: The Interpersonal and Health Consequences of Stigma

Katie Wang, PhD
October 4 | 12noon to 1pm
Walther Hall Auditorium (C203) | R3 Building
980 W. Walnut St. | Indianapolis, IN 46202

Stigma, defined as a socially-devalued identity or attribute, is increasingly recognized as a fundamental cause of health disparities. Across diverse populations, stigma has been shown to undermine physical and mental health through a host of mechanisms, such as limited access to structural resources, stress exposure, and social isolation. In this talk, Dr. Wang will explore the multifaceted consequences of stigma by demonstrating its effects on interpersonal interactions, sexual risk, and mental health among individuals with a wide range of stigmatized identities. Spanning across people with disabilities, sexual minorities, and individuals with serious mental illnesses, the presentation will highlight the unique challenges faced by each stigmatized population and the various ways stigma can manifest itself. Additionally, the presentation will identify potential sources of resilience for stigmatized individuals and describe ways in which such processes can be enhanced in health-promoting interventions geared towards marginalized populations.

WangKatie Wang, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Yale University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS affiliated with the Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Wang's program of research integrates her background in social and health psychology to explore the role of stigma as a risk factor for interpersonal difficulties, adverse mental health outcomes, and health risk behaviors. Additionally, she is interested in identifying coping and emotion regulation resources that can buffer the adverse impact of stigma on health, with the goal of facilitating future efforts to develop health-promoting interventions that target marginalized populations. She is currently involved with a NIH-funded randomized controlled trial of a stigma coping intervention designed to improve the mental and sexual health of young gay and bisexual men.