People with psychological disorders often experience stigma and discrimination, which can impact their ability to gain and maintain employment (Goldberg, Killeen, & O'Day, 2005). The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of disclosure of a severe mental disorder (bipolar disorder) on employers' reactions. In addition, the study assessed the impact of diversity education on employers hiring recommendations for persons with severe mental disabilities. Participants listened to an interview of a student job applicant in one of three conditions (no disclosure, implicit disclosure, or explicit disclosure.) They rated the applicant on personal characteristics and likeability, as well as made employment recommendations. Next, participants read information about either mental disorders in the workplace (i.e., diversity education) or about work-study (i.e., control.) Finally, they re-evaluated the applicant on a variety of measures. There were no significant main effects of disclosure on personal characteristics or likeability. There was a significant interaction between job type and disclosure on employment recommendations, indicating that the effects of disclosure differed depending on the level of social interaction and responsibility that the job entailed. There were no significant intervention effects on job recommendations. Additional analyses revealed that participants felt significantly less prepared to supervise work-study students than people with mental disorders.
Finch '07, Melissa B., "Bipolar Disorder, Disclosure, and Their Effects on Employment Opportunities" (2007). Honors Projects. Paper 11.