Does type of disability make a difference in affiliate stigma among family caregivers of individuals with autism, intellectual disability or physical disability?

S. Werner*, C. Shulman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Studies have shown that beyond public and self stigma, stigma can also impact family members. Only scant research has examined the internalised aspects of stigma, known as affiliate stigma, among family caregivers of individuals with disabilities. This study examined affiliate stigma among family caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities via a comparison between caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and physical disabilities (PD) in Israel. Methods: Family caregivers (n=171) of individuals with developmental disabilities, mainly ID (22.4%), ASD (32.9%) and PD (27.1%), completed a self-report structured questionnaire including the Affiliate Stigma Scale and background variables. Results: Results supported a one-factor structure for the Affiliate Stigma Scale. Overall, affiliate stigma was relatively low in this sample, but was found to be higher among caregivers of individuals with ASD when compared with caregivers of individuals with ID or PD. Conclusion: Findings from this study point to the importance of supporting caregivers of individuals with ASD to decrease their feelings of stigma. It is also important to further develop scales measuring affiliate stigma in order to capture the multi-dimensional nature of the concept.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)272-283
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • Affiliate Stigma Scale
  • Caregiving
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Stigma

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