Effects of Disclosure and Interpersonal Warmth on Attitudes toward Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Workplace
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 stigma management strategies for adults with ASD in the workplace, self-disclosure and interpersonal warmth behaviors (e.g., asking others questions about their interests), on coworker attitudes. In this experiment, I showed participants a video of an individual 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. Participants then completed questionnaires to capture several dimensions of their attitudes. Results showed that participants in the disclosure condition perceived more warmth and competence, felt more admiration and less irritation, and had greater intentions to help and associate than participants in the no disclosure condition. Participants in the disclosure condition also reported more willingness to work with an individual with ASD than participants in the no disclosure condition. Participants in the warmth present condition reported seeing the individual as significantly warmer than participants in the warmth behaviors absent condition. Participants in the warmth behaviors present condition also reported feeling significantly less envy towards the individual in the warmth behaviors present condition than participants in the warmth behaviors absent condition.
Werries, Chelsea C., "Effects of Disclosure and Interpersonal Warmth on Attitudes toward Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Workplace" (2013). Honors Projects. 158.