Measuring stigma in children with epilepsy and their parents: Instrument development and testing

Joan K. Austin, Jessica MacLeod, David W. Dunn, Jianzhao Shen, Susan M. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations


Purpose. The goal of this work is to describe psychometric properties of two scales measuring perceived stigma in children with epilepsy and their parents. Methods. Data were collected for the parent scale in two samples: parents of 173 children with epilepsy and of 224 children with new-onset seizures. The child scale was tested in the chronic sample. Content validity, internal consistency reliability, and construct validity were tested. Results. Both scales had strong internal consistency reliability and construct validity. Higher scores were associated with greater seizure severity scores. In the parent scale, lower scores were associated with more positive mood, less worry, and more family leisure activities. In the child scale, higher scores were correlated with more negative attitude, greater worry, poorer self-concept, and more depression symptoms. Conclusions. Both scales were found to have strong psychometric properties. They are short, and items are easy to understand. These scales have potential for use in research and in the clinical setting to measure stigma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-482
Number of pages11
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004


  • Children and adolescents
  • Epilepsy
  • Instrument development
  • Parents
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology

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