Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Stacey Williams

Thesis Professor Department



Previous research on stigma has identified many negative outcomes associated with its experience. These often include decreased affect and decreased life satisfaction. The present study examined sense of mastery - the sense of control one feels they have over the events in their life - as a moderator or mediator for these negative effects of stigma. To examine this, the Life Evaluations Survey was distributed to psychology students at a Southeastern university (N = 392). Participants completed measures of public stigma, self-stigma, sense of mastery, positive and negative affect, and life satisfaction. Results revealed experiences of public and self-stigma were associated with a decreased sense of mastery. In addition, sense of mastery was found to partially explain the relationship between stigma and quality of life. By contrast, results did not support a moderating role of mastery. Findings suggests that stigmatized individuals experience a sense of diminished control over their lives, which translates into decreased positive affect and life satisfaction.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.