The Construction and Validation of a New Hepatitis C Virus Social Stigma in the Workplace Scale

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Aim: The purpose of this study was to develop a new scale to measure the social stigma of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the workplace using a refined version of Link and colleagues’ (Link & Phelan, 2001,; Link, Yang, Phelan, & Collins, 2004, definition of social stigma. Methods: The new scale was developed over a multistage process that was guided by existing scales and focus groups. Two studies were conducted to validate the scale. The first, collected data from 224 employees and used exploratory factor analysis to remove unsatisfactory items. The second study collected data from 254 employees and used confirmatory factor analysis. Results: Results indicated that the new 32 item scale had acceptable reliability and validity. These results support the conceptualization of stigma as a latent construct that abstracts stereotyping, prejudice and intention to discriminate. Conclusion: Findings elucidate that HCV stigma can be operationalized as a general factor behind stereotyping, prejudice and intentions to discriminate in the workplace. This is an important conclusion because it may bring parsimony and coherence to a complex and dispersed literature. Additionally, the new scale may be used to study HCV stigma in the workplace

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