Initial factor exploration of disability identity.

Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Gabriel J. Merrin, Carlyn O. Mueller, Larry R. Price, Heather Hensman Kettrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose/Objective: This article describes the initial factor exploration of disability identity and preliminary psychometric characteristics based on an adult self-report tool. Disability was defined broadly, and the sample included individuals with visible and/or hidden disabilities across many disability groups (i.e., physical, intellectual, learning, mental illness). Method: Items were developed (n = 102) and a pilot measure was administered to a sample of adults with disabilities (n = 566). An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using the mean and variance adjusted weighted least squares (WLSMV) estimator was conducted. The resulting items were sent to expert reviewers for evaluation. Results: Following the exploratory analyses, 37 items were retained that made up four factors: internal beliefs about own disability and the disability community, anger and frustration with disability experiences, adoption of disability community values, and contribution to the disability community. The pilot measure aligned well with the theoretical framework that guided its development. Discussion/Conclusion: This factor exploration is a contribution to a growing body of literature supporting, and investigating, disability identity development. This work presents a more comprehensive understanding of disability identity development. Armed with a better understanding, this will serve as a basis to inform future scale development and validation. After this validation work is completed, there is the potential to apply findings to tailor interventions and clinical work, so that psychologists and rehabilitation professionals may be better prepared to meet the developmental needs of disabled clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment
  • disability identity
  • exploratory factor analysis
  • identity formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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