Thesis

Stigma and hiring individuals with intellectual disability

The purpose of the current study was to answer three questions: (1) whether an employer’s hiring decision differed depending on whether or not the potential employee had an intellectual disability; (2) whether stigma was related to an employer’s hiring decision when the potential employee had intellectual disability; and, (3) whether an employer’s cognitive, affective or behavioral stigma responses to a potential employee with intellectual disability differentially predicted the employer’s decision to hire the potential employee with intellectual disability. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Participants also rated likelihood to conduct a hiring interview with a potential employee after reading a descriptive vignette. The current study found that participants were more likely to hire potential employees with intellectual disability than typically developing individuals. Additionally, participants with more stigmatizing attitudes were more likely to hire potential employees with intellectual disability. Participants with higher cognitive stigma were more likely to hire individuals with intellectual disability. Male participants were more likely to hire potential employees. Future research should continue to explore the relationship between stigma, hiring decisions and potential employees with intellectual disability to continue to benefit this population, those who work with them, and those who provide services to these individuals.

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