James Ragsdale

Doctoral student
James Ragsdale


My research interests are primarily in the sociology of mental health with my focus being stigma related to mental illness and drug addiction. Addiction stigma has become my main focus with my investigation being centered on the sources of public stigma, including causal beliefs about addiction. For example, I have examined stigmatizing attitudes, preferred consequences, and attributions of the cause(s) of opioid addiction in my master’s thesis.

Research Experience

Undergraduate Research Assistant for Dr. Steven Hayes: Screened abstracts for a meta-analysis of mediators of change in psychotherapy. Helped develop a table in a book chapter on assessments of psychological flexibility for practitioners of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Research Assistant for Dr. Marta Elliott: Worked on multiple projects both qualitative and quantitative related to stigma around mental illness and drug addiction. Notable publication:

Elliott, M., & Ragsdale, J. M. (2020). Mental health professionals with mental illnesses: A qualitative interview study. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(6), 677-686. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000499


Sociology Graduate Student Research Award 2020


M.A. in Sociology from University of Nevada, Reno.

B.A. in Psychology and Sociology with a specialization in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno.