Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Rosopa, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Mary Anne Taylor

Committee Member

Dr. Cheryl Dye

Committee Member

Dr. Fred Switzer

Abstract

Past legislation, created with the intention of protecting individuals with disabilities (e.g., National Industrial Recovery Act, Fair Labor Standards Act), has, unfortunately, helped pave the way for discriminatory practices in the workplace. Disabled individuals are often deemed too disabled to work, but not disabled enough to receive unemployment-related benefits. In addition to dealing with discriminatory employment practices, disabled individuals must also overcome everyday hurdles (e.g., negative stereotypes, isolation, secondary health issues, lack of rehabilitation services). The overarching goal of the present study was to further investigate the personal feelings and perceptions of disabled individuals, which has often been overlooked in past literature. Results from the present study revealed that certain resources, such as core self-evaluations (CSE), significantly affected participants' happiness. Interestingly, no differences in number of hours worked, income level, or work satisfaction was found between disability types. The present study also found that overall, disabled individuals did not feel that they were entitled to special privileges in the workplace – this result held for participants with both invisible and visible disabilities. Results from the present study may be used to develop skill-building programs for individuals with disabilities (e.g., programs to help build confidence). Additionally, these results should help to counteract negative societal attitudes concerning the use of specific benefits programs, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), as participants were not found to have entitled attitudes concerning special privileges.

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