Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: The mediating effect of social support on the relationship between the impact of experienced stigma and mental health.

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The impact of stigma and discrimination against persons with mental illness is well documented. Less well researched are the interpersonal and intrapersonal mechanisms that mediate how acts of discrimination impact persons with mental illness, specifically social support. Past research has focused on the buffering, or moderating impact of perceived social support. We hypothesize that perceived social support is a psychological process, changed by interactions with the outside world, including stressful interactions. In this study, we explore perceived social support as a mediator between the impact of experienced discrimination and mental health. We also test the moderating hypotheses as a way to determine if past research on the role of perceived social support is a better model than the mediating model. We used data from a subset of the Canadian Community Health Survey–Mental Health. We tested the mediating role of perceived social support using the bootstrapped estimate of the 95% confidence interval of the indirect effect. We also tested the buffering hypothesis of perceived social support, using the product of the impact of decimation measure and perceived social support measure. The results suggest that perceived social support does mediate the relationship between the impact of experienced discrimination and mental health. The buffering hypothesis did not hold. Results suggest a new way to model the relationship of perceived social support, stigma, and mental health. Further, the results provide insights into the importance of intervening at the point of discrimination. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)