Event Title

Effects of Disclosure of an Autism Spectrum Disorder on Coworker Attitudes

Graduation Year

2013

Location

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

20-4-2013 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2013 3:00 PM

Description

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been known to struggle with attaining and maintaining employment. The stigma of ASDs plays a large role in this struggle, and research on stigma management strategies in the workplace is needed. I investigated the effects of two specific strategies, self-disclosure of an ASD and interpersonal warmth behaviors (i.e., asking others questions about their interests), on coworker attitudes. In this experiment, I used video stimuli to show participants an individual portraying a person with ASD interacting with coworkers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions, featuring 1) the presence or absence of self-disclosure and 2) the presence or absence of interpersonal warmth from an individual with ASD depicted in a video. Participants then completed questionnaires to capture several dimensions of their attitudes toward the individual. Results demonstrated significant main effects for disclosure on perceptions of an individual with ASD. Self-disclosure resulted in higher ratings of his warmth and competence, higher admiration for him, less irritation towards him, and greater intentions to help and associate with him. Participants also reported more willingness to work with an individual with ASD who disclosed than with an individual who did not. There were no significant main effects for interpersonal warmth on perceptions of the individual with ASD.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

Effects of Disclosure of an Autism Spectrum Disorder on Coworker Attitudes

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been known to struggle with attaining and maintaining employment. The stigma of ASDs plays a large role in this struggle, and research on stigma management strategies in the workplace is needed. I investigated the effects of two specific strategies, self-disclosure of an ASD and interpersonal warmth behaviors (i.e., asking others questions about their interests), on coworker attitudes. In this experiment, I used video stimuli to show participants an individual portraying a person with ASD interacting with coworkers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions, featuring 1) the presence or absence of self-disclosure and 2) the presence or absence of interpersonal warmth from an individual with ASD depicted in a video. Participants then completed questionnaires to capture several dimensions of their attitudes toward the individual. Results demonstrated significant main effects for disclosure on perceptions of an individual with ASD. Self-disclosure resulted in higher ratings of his warmth and competence, higher admiration for him, less irritation towards him, and greater intentions to help and associate with him. Participants also reported more willingness to work with an individual with ASD who disclosed than with an individual who did not. There were no significant main effects for interpersonal warmth on perceptions of the individual with ASD.