Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Erin Tone, PhD

Second Advisor

Nicole Caporino, PhD

Third Advisor

Wing Yi Chan, PhD


According to a National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report (2009), approximately 13-20% of children in the U.S. meet criteria for a mental illness in any year. Of these children, only 50.6% receive treatment (CDC, 2014). Perceived stigma related to mental illness may prevent some caregivers from seeking services (Hinshaw, 2005). However, it is difficult to assess the impact of stigma on treatment-seeking, because a broad and psychometrically adequate measure of caregivers’ perceived mental health stigma does not yet exist. The goal of this study was to develop a measure to address this gap. Initial items for the measure, the Mental Health Stigma Inventory for Caregivers (MSTIC), were developed based on a literature review, semi-structured interviews with caregivers, and stigma theory. Caregivers of children 6-18 years of age (n = 483) completed the MSTIC, and its factor structure was explored. A five-factor solution generally consistent with the literature emerged.


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