Ruth Firmin

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I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at IUPUI studying with Dr. Michelle Salyers and working as a research assistant for the ACT Center of Indiana. In 2013 I received my Master of Science from IUPUI and in 2011 I graduated from Cedarville University with a B.A. in psychology.

My broad research interests are factors related to recovery from serious and persistent mental illness. I have developed a line of work focused on stigma resistance and factors that impact self-stigma.

My thesis was a mixed-methods look at patient perceptions of illness and recovery among Veterans and non-Veterans with schizophrenia, comparing risk and protective factors associated with identity, stigma, and factors that might promote resisting the impact of stigma.

I next conducted a meta-analysis of mental health stigma resistance in order to identify and better understand how stigma resistance impacts functioning-related domains. Results suggested stigma resistance may be a key requirement for recovery.

My dissertation work has been funded by the American Psychological Foundation's Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship. This multi-phase, mixed-methods study will create and validate a new measure of mental health stigma resistance.

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