Stigma of Suicide Scale (SOSS)

Lead developer: 
Philip Batterham
Usage: 
Permission required

Contact

 Philip Batterham
 02 6125 1031

The Stigma of Suicide Scale is designed to assess stigmatising attitudes of general community members toward people who suicide. It has both a long and a short form. The long form consists of 58 items and the short form consists of 16 items. Each item consists of a one-word descriptor of a person who dies by suicide. A person completes the scale by rating how much they agree with each item being a descriptor of someone who takes their own life. Each item is to be rated on a 5-point Likert scale from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree. Higher scores indicate higher levels of stigma towards people who suicide. The Stigma of Suicide Scale has three subscales: stigma, isolation/depression, and glorification/normalization.

Using the scale below, please rate how much you agree with the descriptions of people who take their own lives (suicide). In general, people who suicide are . . .  

 

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Neither agree nor disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Stigma

         
Pathetic

Shallow

Immoral
An embarrasment
Irresponsible
Stupid
Cowardly
Vengeful

Isolation/ Depression

         
Lonely
Isolated
Lost
Disconnected

Glorification/ Normalisation

         
Strong
Brave
Noble
Dedicated

 

Internal consistency

SOSS overall α = 0.70*

SOSS Stigma Subscale α = 0.88*, 0.89**

SOSS Isolation/ Depression Subscale α = 0.80*, 0.78**

SOSS Glorification/ Normalization Subscale α = 0.78*, 0.82**

Convergent validity

SOSS Stigma Subscale correlation with Suicide Opinion Questionnaire Stigma Subscale: r = -0.66, p < .05*

SOSS Isolation/ Depression Subscale correlation with Suicide Opinion Questionnaire Isolation Subscale: r = -0.37, p < .05*

SOSS Glorification/ Normalization Subscale correlation with Suicide Opinion Questionnaire Acceptability Subscale: r = -0.35, p < .05*

(Negative correlations due to scales coded in opposite directions)

Construct validity

SOSS Stigma Subscale correlation with Depression Stigma Scale: r = -0.46, p < .001**

* a sample of 676 university staff and students from the Australian National University.

** A community sample of 1286 Australians aged over 18 years.

Key references: 

Batterham, P.J., Calear, A.L., Christensen, H. (2013)Correlates of Suicide Stigma and Suicide Literacy in the Community. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour; 43: 406-417.

Batterham, P.J., Calear, A.L., Christensen, H.(2013) The Stigma of Suicide Scale: Psychometric properties and correlates of the stigma of suicide. Research Trends; 34, 13-21.

Using the scale below, please rate how much you agree with the descriptions of people who take their own lives (suicide). In general, people who suicide are . . .  

 

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Neither agree nor disagree

Agree

Strongly agree

Stigma

         
Punishing others
Selfish
Hurtful
Reckless
Weak
Irresponsible
Attention-seeking
Cowardly
Senseless
Ignorant
Unfair
Unjustifiable
Stupid
Cruel

A burden
Strange
Unnatural
Failures
Shallow
Shameful
Pathetic
Vengeful
Violent
Unforgiveable
An embarrasment
Arrogant
Immoral
Useless
Lazy
Barbaric

Evil

Isolation/ Depression

         
Unhappy
Depressed
In pain
Sad
Hurt
Disconnected
Lost
Isolated
Lonely
Miserable
Trapped
Alienated
Broken
Cutoff
Withdrawn
Disturbed

Glorification/ Normalization

         
Understandable
Committed
Brave
Motivated
Rational
Realistic
Strong
Dedicated
Powerful
Fearless
Noble

Internal consistency

SOSS overall α = 0.90

SOSS Stigma Subscale α = 0.95

SOSS Isolation/ Depression Subscale α = 0.88

SOSS Glorification/ Normalization Subscale α = 0.86

Convergent validity

SOSS Stigma Subscale correlation with Suicide Opinion Questionnaire Stigma Subscale: r = -0.682, p < .05*

SOSS Isolation/ Depression Subscale correlation with Suicide Opinion Questionnaire Isolation Subscale: r = -0.467, p < .05*

SOSS Glorification/ Normalization Subscale correlation with Suicide Opinion Questionnaire Acceptability Subscale: r = -0.451, p < .05*

(Negative correlations due to scales coded in opposite directions)

Norms

Percentage of people agreeing or strongly agreeing with each item and mean score (standard deviation).

 

%

M (SD)

 

%

M (SD)

Stigma items

Isolation/Depression items

Punishing others

39.50

3.11 (1.06)

Unhappy

94.80

4.37 (0.61)

Selfish

38.30

3.03 (1.12)

Depressed

94.20

4.50 (0.67)

Hurtful

33.00

2.87 (1.08)

In pain

93.60

4.41 (0.62)

Reckless

32.40

2.97 (0.99)

Sad

90.80

4.19 (0.64)

Weak

26.90

2.77 (1.06)

Hurt

90.70

4.16 (0.66)

Irresponsible

24.90

2.77 (1.04)

Disconnected

89.50

4.23 (0.72)

Attention-seeking

22.00

2.56 (1.12)

Lost

89.10

4.20 (0.71)

Cowardly

21.30

2.53 (1.14)

Isolated

86.80

4.18 (0.73)

Senseless

20.60

2.71 (0.97)

Lonely

86.70

4.19 (0.73)

Ignorant

19.80

2.58 (1.06)

Miserable

84.20

 4.17 (0.80)

Unfair

19.10

2.71 (0.91)

Trapped

84.00

4.00 (0.74)

Unjustifiable

14.50

2.51 (0.94)

Alienated

82.70

4.05 (0.88)

Stupid

12.90

2.25 (1.06)

Broken

76.80

3.91 (0.92)

Cruel

12.60

2.24 (1.00)

Cutoff

74.40

3.84 (0.82)

A burden

12.40

2.21 (1.05)

Withdrawn

67.30

3.75 (0.82)

Strange

10.80

2.40 (0.92)

Disturbed

61.20

3.61 (1.01)

Unnatural

10.50

2.30 (0.98)

 

   

Failures

9.80

1.91 (1.04)

Glorification/Normalization items

Shallow

9.00

2.20 (0.94)

Understandable

35.80

3.08 (0.97)

Shameful

8.60

2.12 (1.00)

Committed

15.40

 2.62 (0.94)

Pathetic

8.10

2.00 (0.93)

Brave

14.30

2.21 (1.10)

Vengeful

7.50

2.21 (0.92)

Motivated

10.40

2.44 (0.87)

Violent

6.80

2.17 (0.87)

Rational

7.00

2.27 (0.85)

Unforgivable

6.40

2.01 (0.91)

Realistic

6.70

2.26 (0.84)

An embarrassment

6.10

1.74 (0.93)

Strong

6.20

2.22 (0.90)

Arrogant

4.70

1.97 (0.88)

Dedicated

5.90

2.44 (0.83)

Immoral

4.60

1.87 (0.89)

Powerful

4.00

2.11 (0.84)

Useless

4.00

1.85 (0.86)

Fearless

3.10

1.89 (0.84)

Lazy

3.30

1.96 (0.85)

Noble

1.90

2.03 (0.81)

Barbaric

2.40

1.72 (0.82)

 

   

Evil

0.70

1.35 (0.65)

 

   

Based on a sample of 676 university staff and students from the Australian National University.

Key references: 

Batterham, P.J., Calear, A.L., Christensen, H. (2013) The Stigma of Suicide Scale: Psychometric properties and correlates of the stigma of suicide. Research Trends; 34, 13-21.

Updated:  01 May 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, CMHR/Page Contact:  Web Admin, CMHR