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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
 
BMC Psychiatry. 2011; 11: 184.
Published online Nov 22, 2011. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-11-184
PMCID: PMC3248354
The generalised anxiety stigma scale (GASS): psychometric properties in a community sample
Kathleen M Griffiths,corresponding author1 Philip J Batterham,2 Lisa Barney,1 and Alison Parsons2
1Depression & Anxiety Consumer Research Unit, Centre for Mental Health Research; The Australian National University, Acton, Canberra, ACT, Australia
2Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Acton, Canberra, ACT, Australia
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Kathleen M Griffiths: kathy.griffiths/at/anu.edu.au; Philip J Batterham: philip.batterham/at/anu.edu.au; Lisa Barney: lisa.barney/at/anu.edu.au; Alison Parsons: alison.parsons/at/anu.edu.au
Received June 15, 2011; Accepted November 22, 2011.
Abstract
Background
Although there is substantial concern about negative attitudes to mental illness, little is known about the stigma associated with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or its measurement. The aim of this study was to develop a multi-item measure of Generalised Anxiety Disorder stigma (the GASS).
Methods
Stigma items were developed from a thematic analysis of web-based text about the stigma associated with GAD. Six hundred and seventeen members of the public completed a survey comprising the resulting 20 stigma items and measures designed to evaluate construct validity. Follow-up data were collected for a subset of the participants (n = 212).
Results
The factor structure comprised two components: Personal Stigma (views about Generalised Anxiety Disorder); and Perceived Stigma (views about the beliefs of most others in the community). There was evidence of good construct validity and reliability for each of the Generalised Anxiety Stigma Scale (GASS) subscales.
Conclusions
The GASS is a promising brief measure of the stigma associated with Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
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