Does Individualism Help Explain Differences in Employers' Stigmatizing Attitudes Toward Disability Across Chinese and American Cities?

Deepa Rao, Randall A. Horton, Wing Hong Hector Tsang, Kan Shi, Patrick W. Corrigan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Stigmatizing attitudes toward people with disabilities can jeopardize such individuals' well-being and recovery through denial of employment and community isolation. By shaping social norms that define group membership, the construct of individualism may partially explain differences in stigmatizing attitudes across cultures. Further, widespread globalization has brought intensely individualistic social practices to certain segments of non-Western cultures. This paper examines whether the construct of individualism can help to explain cross-cultural differences in stigmatizing attitudes observed between American and Chinese employers. Design: Employers (N = 879) from Beijing, Hong Kong, and Chicago provided information on their attitudes toward hiring people with disabilities, and path analyses were conducted to examine potential mediating relationships. Results: Path analyses indicated that vertical individualism, along with perceived responsibility for acquiring a condition, partially mediated the relationship between culture and employers' negative attitudes about job candidates with disabilities. Conclusion: These results suggested that greater espousal of competitive and individualist values may drive stigmatizing attitudes across cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • China
  • Employers
  • Individualism
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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