As far as possible: The relationship between public awareness, social distance, and stigma towards people with intellectual disability

Marcela Tenorio*, Paulina Sofía Arango, Andrés Aparicio, Afia Ali, Angela Hassiotis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research shows that people with intellectual disability (ID) face public stigma. However, a recently published narrative review suggests that this phenomenon has not been explored in a Latin American country. This study fills the gap in our understanding of public stigma towards people with intellectual disability in Chile. 395 adults from the general population (18 to 78 years) participated in the survey. Using the Intellectual Disability Literacy Scale, adapted for Chile, we explored the participants' literacy about ID, their causal beliefs, and desire of social distance. Only 1.3% of the sample identified intellectual disability in the instrument's vignette. The most common causal attribution for the condition was environmental, followed by biomedical factors. Participants showed a high desire of social distance, with higher scores associated with more educated participants. Our findings show that low literacy about intellectual disability and a high desire for social distance are significant factors contributing to public stigma in Chile. These are tangible targets for change that can lead to increased social inclusion and participation of people with intellectual disability in Chile. Any such approaches are likely to be transferable to other Latin American countries and could help reduce public stigma for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume19
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2022
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Keywords

  • Chile
  • Disorders of intellectual development
  • Intellectual development disorder
  • Intellectual disability
  • Public policy
  • Stigma

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