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1. Substance Use Stigma Mechanisms Scale (SU-SMS)

Year: 2016

Smith, Laramie R.; Earnshaw, Valerie A.; Copenhaver, Michael M.; Cunningham, Chinazo O.

The 18-item SU-SMS is structured to measure enacted, anticipated, and internalized substance use stigma as distinct constructs and provide sub-scales reflecting enacted and anticipated stigma from relevant stigma sources commonly identified in the extant literature (i.e., family members and healthcare works). It is based on the HIV Stigma Framework developed by Earnshaw and Chaudior (2009) and assesses 6 items related to enacted stigma (e.g., "Healthcare workers have not listened to my concerns"), 6 related to anticipated stigma (e.g., "Family members will look down on me"), and 6 related to internalized stigma (e.g., "Having used alcohol and/or drugs makes me feel like I'm a bad person").

Instrument Use & Availability

A list of the scale's 18 items can be found in Table 3 of the source reference (Smith et al, 2016).

For more information, contact:
Laramie R. Smith
Division of Global Public Health
University of California San Diego

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Instrument Details:

Source Reference:Smith LR, Earnshaw VA, Copenhaver MM, Cunningham CO. Substance use stigma: Reliability and validity of a theory-based scale for substance-using populations. Drug Alcohol Depend 2016;162:34-43. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.02.019
Population studied:Adults
Instrument Type:Assessment
Validity/Reliability:Data suggest the SU-SMS is a structurally valid, internally reliable scale for measuring three distinct stigma mechanisms (enacted, anticipated, and internalized) from key stigma sources (family members and healthcare workers). (Smith et al, 2016)

Supporting References:

  • Earnshaw VA, Chaudoir SR. From conceptualizing to measuring HIV stigma: A review of HIV stigma mechamism measures. AIDS and Behavior 2009;13:1160. [about the HIV Stigma Framework used to develop this scale]

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