Submission Date


Document Type





Mora Reinka

Committee Member

Terry Winegar

Committee Member

Nicole Ivaska

Department Chair

Kneia DaCosta

Project Description

The goal of the present study was to examine the influence of stigma, disclosure, and affect on treatment and accommodation seeking (uptake and confidence) in both an undergraduate and workforce population for those with an invisible disability. Invisible disability, a form of concealable stigmatized identity, lacks research in terms of the barriers and motivators for seeking help, especially within a stigma framework. To fill in this gap in the literature, two studies were conducted via questionnaires for each setting respectively, in order to understand how to navigate disability concerns across multiple contexts. Binomial logistic regressions and linear regressions revealed that being out to those who offer social support (family and friends) is less important than being out to those who play a direct role in receiving accommodation and treatment (employer/supervisors and medical personnel). The data also confirms previous findings that stigma may pose a barrier to receiving treatment and accommodations, and that increased positive feelings about one’s identity leads to increased accommodation and treatment seeking. Overall, the results demonstrated that the factors that influence accommodation and treatment seeking function differently in the undergraduate and workforce environment, and how an individual feels about their disability may impact accommodation and treatment seeking. However, the supports in place may impact accommodation and treatment seeking more, demonstrating the need for inclusive, supportive environments.