The Impact of Labels and Behaviors on the Stigmatization of Adults with Asperger’s Disorder
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Currently, there is a paucity of literature on stigmatization of adults with Asperger’s Disorder (AD). Therefore, this study examined whether young adults hold stigmatizing views towards individuals with AD and if that stigmatization is elicited by behaviors or labels. College students (N = 195) read one of six vignettes. A modified Social Distance Scale (Link et al. 1987) was used to assess stigmatization. A 2 × 3 analysis of variance revealed that the social behaviors commonly observed in AD significantly impacted stigmatization scores, while the label, “Asperger’s Disorder,” did not. These findings have important implications for future research, educating the public, providing support services, and treatment recommendations for individuals with AD.
KeywordsAsperger’s Disorder Stigmatization Social Distance Scale Adults
We would like to thank Steven K. Shapiro and Bryan D. Edwards for their helpful feedback. Thanks is expressed to James Butler for his design and maintenance of the computer program.
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