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How do Positive Deviants Overcome Health-Related Stigma? An Exploration of Development of Positive Deviance Among People With Stigmatized Health Conditions in Indonesia.


A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to understand how some people living with stigmatized health conditions develop positive deviance to overcome stigma. We examined interviews from 13 identified positive deviants living with four different stigmatized health conditions (HIV, leprosy, schizophrenia, and diabetes) in Indonesia. Positive deviance develops in the form of psychological empowerment through improvement of self-belief and perception (intrapersonal component), development of understanding and skill to exert control in life (interactional component), and self-discovery of successful behaviors and strategies to avert stigma (behavioral component). Positive deviants, after being empowered, start empowering others affected by sharing their knowledge and fostering social awareness and acceptance. The findings revealed the presence of problem-solving ability and agency within the community of stigmatized individuals in Indonesia and warrant researchers to partner with the community to expedite the diffusion of transferable positive deviant strategies within and outside the communities.

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Journal Article
Rai S
Syurina E
Peters R
Putri A
Irwanto I
Zweekhorst M