Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

B.B.A. with honors

Honors Designation

yes

Program of Study

Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Angela M. Pinto

Second Advisor

Charles Scherbaum

Third Advisor

Nicholas Sibrava

Abstract

Despite the increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses and organizational emphasis on workplace diversity, limited information is known about how disclosure of an ASD diagnosis and presence of ASD behaviors impact perceived employability in an interview setting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate these factors using an experimental design. Participants were 258 students (Mage = 21.9 years, SD = 5.1; 56% female; 75% non-White) at an urban public college who completed questionnaires on ASD knowledge and stereotypes and evaluated employability of vignette characters interviewing for a job interview. Vignettes varied across two dimensions: ASD disclosure (disclosure or no disclosure) and ASD behavior (present or absent) and participants were randomly assigned using a 2x2 between-subjects design. Results showed that employability scores were significantly lower when ASD behaviors were present (vs. absent) and when ASD was not disclosed (vs. disclosed). The interaction was not significant. Knowledge of ASD in this sample of college students was comparable to that found in the general population. Endorsement of ASD stereotypes was variable, with a substantial proportion of the sample reporting uncertainty with regards to their endorsement of stereotypes. These findings contribute to the literature on attitudes toward employing individuals with ASD and may be useful for informing organizational policies on education and training in disability employment.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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