Black-white differences in the psychosocial outcomes of epilepsy

Sarah Gehlert, Audrey Difrancesco, Chih Hung Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The present study tested the hypothesis that the stigma of being disabled and that of minority ethnic status yield more negative psychosocial outcomes for black than white persons with epilepsy. Black (n = 55) and white (n = 53) urban participants from a larger sample were matched for socioeconomic status and seizure frequency. Differences in these and key demographic variables were tested using χ2 and t-tests and found to be non- significant. Group differences in psychosocial outcome variables were analyzed with the following results: (1) white subjects were more likely to have considered suicide and to have higher scores on the family background scale of the Washington Psychosocial Seizure Inventory (WPSI); (2) black subjects had significantly lower scores on the Beck Hopelessness Scale and significantly more optimistic attributional styles; and (3) no between-group differences were found on other psychosocial measures. The nature of family and community supports may determine intergroup differences. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2000


  • Epilepsy
  • Ethnic
  • Outcome
  • Psychosocial
  • Stigma


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