Title

Ethnicity and the stigma of disabilities

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Recent studies reveal significant differences in the attitudes held by people of various ethnic groups toward people with disabilities. We surveyed university students and community members on a scale of desired social distance from people with disabilities. Study 1 revealed that Asian-American participants were more likely to stigmatize and less likely to differentiate between individuals with physical and mental illness than were their African-American, Latin-American or European-American counterparts. Study 2 compared U.S. born with Asian born Asian-Americans and found that nativity was a useful predictor of attitudes toward people with disabilities. Asian born participants were more likely to stigmatize disabilities overall (except mental illness and old age) than U.S. born participants presumably because of the level of assimilation. These cultural differences may have health care and psychosocial implications for those who are disabled and for health care providers.

Publication Title

PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH

Volume

16

Issue

6

First Page

699

Last Page

713