Abstract: Serial Mediating Effect of Disability Acceptance and Self-Efficacy between Self-Stigmatizing Thinking and Work Intention of the People with the Intellectual Disabilities (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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Serial Mediating Effect of Disability Acceptance and Self-Efficacy between Self-Stigmatizing Thinking and Work Intention of the People with the Intellectual Disabilities

Friday, January 13, 2023
North Mountain, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Sookyung Park, PhD, Professor, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
Kyungjoo Seo, MSW, Doctoral Student Researcher, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Background/Purpose: In South Korea, the number of persons with intellectual disabilities (PID) is steadily increasing and account for 9.4 % of entire persons with disabilities in 2020. The proportion of young aged 20-39 (41.5%) in PID is 10 times more than that of same age range (4%) among persons with physical disabilities (PPD) while their employment rate in 2020 (23.2%) is almost half of that among PPD (44.4%). This lower employment rate among PID may be explained by less work intention or psychological factors such as acceptance of disability or self-efficacy that may affect work intention. Generally, PID have strong tendency to distrust their own abilities, which lead to depend on others and avoid to get a job. Also self-stigmatizing thinking lowers acceptance of disability and self-efficacy. Furthermore, it has negative effect on work intention. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine sequential mediating effects of disability acceptance and self-efficacy in the relationships between self-stigmatizing thinking and work intention of PID.

Methods: The final analysis sample includes 361 PID who are economically inactive (aged between 18 and 65) from the 2019 Korea Panel Survey of Employment for the Disabled. Dependent variable is work intention (WI) within next 1 year and a single Likert item. Self-stigmatizing thinking (SST) was measured 4 items as an independent variable, and disability acceptance (DA) and self-efficacy (SE) were measured by the Disability Acceptance Scale and the Korean versions of the General Self-Efficacy scale as mediating variables. Control variables were sex, age, degree of disability, whether to receive public aids. Model six of Andrew Hayes' (2013) PROCESS macro for SPSS was used to analyze serial mediation models.


The direct effect of SST on WI was insignificant but the total indirect effect of SST on WI was significant. In serial mediation analyses, a significant mediation path was found for SST through DA and SE. Specifically, a significant specific mediation path on WI was only revealed for SST through SE and the mediation path of DA was not significant. These findings showed that SST was found to be a significant predictor of higher levels of DA, consequently leading to low level SE, which, in turn, were associated with greater WI.

Conclusions and Implications: In the sample of PDI in Korea, we found that SST and WI are not directly associated, and are mediated by the serial associations between DA and SE. These findings suggest that employment policies and programs that address reducing SST and implementing clinical interventions specifically focused on improving the levels of DA and SE may be important for increasing WI of PDI. Interventions to reduce negative psychological factors such as SST and to promote positive psychological factors such as DA and SE are necessary to increase WI for PID. It can help for PID eliminate self-stigma to reduce SST of theirs. This study highlights that individual, family, and social level interventions should drive WI of PID.