Attitudinal Ableism: A Three-Study Exploration into Attitudinal Barriers Encountered by People with Mental Illness, Substance Use, and Physical Disabilities
AuthorRobb, Jayci Lynn
AdvisorHartley, Michael T.
Committee ChairHartley, Michael T.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe three studies presented in this dissertation generated new insight about the attitudinal ableism experienced by people with mental illness, substance use, and physical disabilities. First, the purpose of study one was to synthesize existing evidence about the implicit (unconscious) biases toward people with mental illness. Extensive academic database searches were performed and 19 articles were selected for review. Main findings from the review indicated that 63% of the participant samples showed an implicit bias against people with mental illness. Further, the implicit biases were positively correlated with explicit desires for social distance in two studies and were not improved by interventions or prior contact in six studies. Second, the purpose of study two was to investigate potential mediators in the pathway between perceived stigma and internalized stigma among people with substance use disorders. A total of 125 individuals completed the survey packet. Results indicated that overall social support (particularly affectionate social support) and maladaptive coping behaviors were significant mediators of the pathway. Personality characteristics, overall coping behaviors, adaptive coping behaviors, emotional/informational social support, and tangible social support were not significant mediators. Third, the purpose of study three was to validate and expand upon existing research on the microaggressions perceived by people with physical disabilities. The third study was also an initial exploration into the applicability of Glick and Fiske's (1996) theory of ambivalent sexism in conceptualizing ableist microaggressions. Specifically, Glick and Fiske's (1996) theory was used as a framework for conceptualizing ableist microaggressions as examples of ambivalent ableism, characterized by hostility and benevolence toward people with disabilities. Twelve individuals with visible, physical disabilities were interviewed about their microaggressive experiences and the personal impacts of being targets of ableism. Participants' experiences were coded and categorized as representing hostile ableism, benevolent ableism, or impact on the target. Hostile microaggressive experiences included othering, victimizing, and desexualizing; benevolent microaggressive experiences included helping and infantilizing; and impacts on the target included passing/covering and internalizing. Finally, implications related to research, education, and practice for each of the three studies were discussed in the concluding chapter of this dissertation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College