When Stigma-by-Association Threatens, Self-Esteem Helps: Self-Esteem Protects Volunteers in Stigmatizing Contexts

Patrick C. Dwyer, Mark Snyder, Allen M. Omoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing from theory and research on self-esteem as an important coping resource, we hypothesized that higher self-esteem would protect volunteers from the pernicious effects of stigma-by-association. In a longitudinal study of AIDS volunteers, higher anticipated stigma-by-association deterred the initiation of volunteerism for people with lower self-esteem. Three months later, greater stigma-by-association was related to less contact with an HIV+client in public (relative to private) settings, but only among volunteers lower in self-esteem. Moreover, greater relative public client contact predicted less overall satisfaction, but only for volunteers with relatively lower self-esteem. Implications for coping, stigma, and volunteer organizations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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