Public stigma and the perception of rights: Differences between intellectual and physical disabilities

Shirli Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stigma may have detrimental effects on the rights of individuals with disabilities. This study examined the association between stigma and the perception of rights of people with intellectual disabilities and people with physical disabilities. Telephone interviews using vignette methodology were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 605 adults. Items included stereotypes, prejudice, behavioral reactions and the perception of rights of these individuals. More negative stereotypes, greater social distance and greater withdrawal behaviors were found toward people with intellectual disabilities as compared to people with physical disabilities. Lower support of rights was found toward people with intellectual disabilities as compared to people with physical disabilities. Lower degree of acceptance and higher perception of dangerousness were associated with greater social distance, which was related to lower perception of rights. Programs should aim at decreasing social distance to improve support to exercise rights, especially among people with intellectual disabilities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)262-271
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume38
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Acceptance
  • Rights
  • Social distance
  • Stigma
  • Vignette

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