Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 427–434 | Cite as

Assessing Cognitive and Affective Reactions of Employers Toward People with Disabilities in the Workplace

  • Jana Copeland
  • Fong Chan
  • Jill Bezyak
  • Robert T. Fraser


Introduction The goal of this study was to assess the construct validity of the Affective Reactions subscale of the Disability Questionnaire by analyzing its underlying factor structure. The Affective Reactions subscale consists of 21 items measuring emotional reactions related to working with people with disabilities and contributes to the overall measurement of employers’ attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. Methods The sample included 142 employers in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine the factorial structure of the Affective Reactions scale and multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between affective reaction factors and ADA knowledge, perceived reasonableness of workplace accommodations, and experience working with people with disabilities. Results Exploratory factor analysis revealed three underlying attitude dimensions: (a) Negative Cognitive and Affective Reactions, (b) Positive Attitudes toward Accommodations, and (c) Positive Attitudes towards Equal Treatment of People with Disabilities in the Workplace. Multiple regression analysis results indicated that positive attitudes toward people with disabilities in the workplace are associated with positive beliefs about the reasonableness of accommodating people with disabilities in the workplace and positive attitudes are related to higher level of experience working with people with disabilities. Conclusions The construct validity of the Affective Reactions subscale of the Disability Questionnaire is supported by the identification of three underlying attitudinal constructs.


Affective reactions Employment Disability Employer attitudes 



Preparation of this manuscript was supported through a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) funded Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) grant awarded to the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado (PR#H133A060079) and the NIDRR funded Virginia Commonwealth University’s Coordination, Outreach and Research Center for the National Network of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Resource Centers (PR#H133A060087).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Copeland
    • 1
  • Fong Chan
    • 2
  • Jill Bezyak
    • 3
  • Robert T. Fraser
    • 4
  1. 1.Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTAC), Rocky Mountain ADA CenterColorado SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human Rehabilitative ServicesUniversity of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA
  4. 4.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of Washington-SeattleSeattleUSA

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