This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Stigmatization of Adults with Asperger's Disorder




Butler, Robert

Type of Degree





Stigmatization is among the many possible challenges that impact the lives of adults with Asperger’s Disorder (AD). There is currently a paucity of literature on stigmatization of adults with AD. This study evaluated if adults hold stigmatizing views towards an individual with AD, and if that stigmatization is elicited by social behaviors or labels associated with AD. Participants were 195 college students who read one of six vignettes in which levels of social behaviors and labels were manipulated. A modified version of the Social Distance Scale (Bogardus, 1933; Link, Cullen, Frank, & Wozniak, 1987) was used to assess amounts of stigmatization held. A 2 x 3 analysis of variance revealed that the social behaviors commonly observed in AD significantly impacted stigmatization scores while the label of “Asperger’s Disorder” did not. These findings have important implications for educating the public, providing support services, and treatment recommendations for individuals with AD.