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Stigma, marginalization and psychosocial well-being of orphans in Rwanda: exploring the mediation role of social support



Stigma, marginalization and psychosocial well-being of orphans in Rwanda: exploring the mediation role of social support



Aids Care 28(6): 736-744



Stigma and marginalization are one of the major challenges orphans face in their daily lives, particularly in developing countries, but little is known about their impacts on mental health. This study examines how orphan-related characteristics, stigma and marginalization are associated with psychosocial well-being. It further analyses the role of social support in mediating between stigma and marginalization and mental health, indicated by emotional well-being and mental distress. The participants in this study were 430 Rwandan orphans who were 10-25 years of age, and of whom 179 were females and 251 were males. Results showed that high levels of stigma and marginalization were associated with a lower level of emotional well-being and higher levels of mental distress. A mediation analysis indicated that low level of social support due to stigma and marginalization contributed significantly to low level of emotional well-being. Once stigma, marginalization and social support were fully accounted for, AIDS orphans exhibited higher levels of mental distress than those who were orphaned by genocide or other causes. Future interventions designed to reduce stigma and marginalization for orphans and actions that facilitate social support can significantly improve emotional well-being and reduce mental distress among orphans.

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Accession: 058905450

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26883484

DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2016.1147012


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