Disability Identity Development: Exploring Disability Visibility and Other Factors Associated with Being Disabled

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It is estimated that one in four (roughly 26%) of American adults live with a disability (Centers for Disease Control, 2022), yet this marginalized group of individuals remains largely understudied (Forber-Pratt et al., 2017). The current study contributes to a growing body of knowledge related to understanding how people with disabilities incorporate their disability as part of their identity (known as disability identity). Using data from a secondary data set, this study explored contextual factors (i.e., visibility, onset, sex/gender, race, marital status) that may be linked to disability identity development. ANOVA and T-Test analyses revealed that participants with both types of disabilities (visible and invisible), congenital disabilities (0-3 years old), identifying as female, as White, and as single were found to have a more positive sense of disability identity development than participants in comparison groups. Implications will be discussed.

Embargo status: Restricted until 06/2173. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

disability, identity, psychosocial development