People with Albinism and their Experience of Felt Stigma: Results of a Nationwide Surveyedit
Social stigma on the basis of physical appearance constitutes a serious problem for people with albinism living in the US, yet very little research has been done on the social and emotional experience of people with albinism. In this quantitative study, 154 adults with albinism responded to a questionnaire probing the degree to which they feel stigmatized, and the particular manifestations of that stigma. Six ‘domains’ of stigma were selected from the literature and operationalized: Self-esteem, concealment, avoidance vs. group affiliation, salience, endorsement of stereotypes, and experience of prejudice and discrimination. Findings support the contention that people with albinism are stigmatized, with negative stereotypes being the strongest contributor to felt stigma. Implications for policy and interventions aimed at addressing this stigma are discussed.