Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Literature Review: The link between rejection sensitivity and borderline personality disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis; 2) Service Improvement Project: Improving the treatment approach to mild TBI through the lens of lived experience; 3) Main Research Project: What others think: the impact of meta-stereotypes on self-disclosure of mental health diagnoses.

  • Mia Foxhall

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Self-disclosing mental health diagnoses may not only result in earlier help and support but also minimise the effects of mental health stigma, such as low self esteem and isolation. However interventions designed to enable this have inconsistent outcomes. Forecasted interactions can predict disclosure-related distress and may offer an appropriate target for these interventions. Meta stereotypes, or the way one believes others’ stereotype them, may be particularly amenable to intervention. The current study aimed to identify whether mental health meta-stereotypes exist and how they impact disclosure comfort and self-esteem. Interviews and quantitative analysis were used to develop a meta-stereotype measurement tool. Seventy-two individuals with mental health diagnoses participated in an experiment asking them to imagine disclosing to someone with either positive or negative attitudes towards mental health. Results show imagining disclosing to someone with negative attitudes increases meta-stereotype elicitation and rejection-expectation, whilst decreasing comfort with disclosure. Furthermore, meta-stereotype elicitation was associated with disclosure comfort more so than rejection-expectation. Meta-stereotype elicitation did not impact self-esteem, however mediational analysis indicates an indirect relationship via rejection expectation. However, in both conditions, disclosure was considered an uncomfortable experience, therefore alternative influences should be considered. Results are discussed in terms of the evidence base and future research is considered.
Date of Award23 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorLorna Hogg (Supervisor), Elizabeth Marks (Supervisor), Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor) & Katherine Button (Supervisor)

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