Identity Management in the Workplace: Strategies for Individuals with De-Legitimized Disabilities.

Rebecca Godard, Mikki Hebl, Christine Nittrouer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many employees with disabilities withhold requests for workplace accommodations, often due to anticipated negative social consequences (Baldridge, 2001; Baldridge & Veiga, 2006). Ethnographic research suggests that people with socially de-legitimized disabilities (that is, disabilities that are popularly associated with malingering, oversensitivity, or unfair pursuit of performance advantage) have a particularly hard time receiving appropriate accommodations. This study uses both a survey and laboratory methodology to examine the efficacy of various identity management strategies that individuals with de-legitimized disabilities might use when requesting academic or workplace accommodations. Study 1 found that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic fatigue syndrome, and generalized anxiety disorder are all viewed as less legitimate than paraplegia, a prototypical disability. Results indicate that any form of disclosure increases the perceived fairness of a p
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
StatePublished - Apr 2022


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