Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Arts in Communication
Kelly Rossetto, Ph.D.
April S. Masarik, Ph.D.
Heidi M. Reeder, Ph.D.
Approximately 56.7 million people currently live with a disability in the United States (United States Census Bureau, 2012). Many of these disabilities are invisible to others, which make disclosure necessary to gain support. Through the analysis of open-ended questionnaires, I investigated disclosure decision-making factors and outcomes for individuals living with invisible disabilities. Factors considered for disclosure included: (a) support; (b) fear of negative response; (c) perceived appropriateness; and (d) no choice or perceived obligation. Disclosure outcomes included: (a) relief; (b) closeness in relationship; (c) loss of relationship; (d) differential treatment; and (e) no change or negative outcome. Theoretically, the findings help extend our understanding of the Revelation Risk Model (Afifi & Steuber, 2009) in terms of the disclosure process for people living with IDs. Additionally, I explore practical implications for better supporting those with IDs through the disclosure process.
Broderick, Julia Roma, "Invisible Dis/abilities: To Disclose or Not Disclose?" (2018). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1373.