Stigma in the Area of Intellectual Disabilities: Examining a Conceptual Model of Public Stigma

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Studies in the area of intellectual disability (ID) stigma are few and atheoretical. This study examined the adequacy of the conceptual framework of stigma from the mental illness field regarding ID. Telephone interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 304 adults in Israel. Participants were read a vignette describing a man with ID and answered items related to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions. Behavioral dimensions included: Withdrawal, Social distance, and Helping behaviors. The stigma process leading to Withdrawal was drawn through Negative affect, whereas the process to Social distance was drawn through Calm affect. One unique aspect of the stigma process in ID is the importance of Calm affect, which helped reduce Social distance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)460-475
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • attitudes
  • conceptualization
  • intellectual disability
  • model
  • pubic stigma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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