Active coping efforts temper negative attributions of disability stigma.

The current research examined attributional evaluations and health perceptions of targets with various disabilities and explored the role that government assistance and coping played in shaping these ratings across three studies. Participants were recruited from Amazon’s MTurk (n = 163, 200, and 180, respectively). Participants read vignettes describing three women with disabilities (cardiovascular disease, depression, and pain; Study 1). In Study 2, this information was standardized to explore disability differences attributed to the disability, and in Study 3, specific information about coping was also presented. Across all three studies, government assistance was not predictive of attributional evaluations or health perceptions. However, in two of the three studies, disabilities did differ in attributional evaluations and health perceptions. Specifically, cardiovascular disease was rated the harshest. Coping also led to differences in attributional evaluations and health perceptions with targets who did not cope at all receiving the harshest ratings, while targets who actively coped receiving the kindest ratings, and this was independent of disability. Results suggest that information about stigma onset and offset are both important in the attributional process whether implicit in the disability or explicitly stated in the vignette as coping. These results may inform stigma reduction efforts and future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)