Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Christopher LeGrow

Second Advisor

Pamela Mulder

Third Advisor

Grace Davis


The present investigation examined the influence applicant disability status has on perceptions of leadership style, leadership potential and leadership behavior. 165 (78 females and 73 males and 14 people choosing not to disclose their age) undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in Psychology courses were randomly assigned to one of three applicant disability status conditions (Non-Disabled, Visually Impaired, and Applicant Needing the use of a Wheelchair) and were asked to provide ratings that reflected their perceptions of the leadership style, leadership skills, and leadership behaviors likely to be exhibited by the applicant on the job. Participants used the Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scale, Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ –XII), and six other scales assessing dimensions of leadership drawn from the leadership literature (i.e., Efficiency, Intellectual Stimulation, Charisma, Communication Skills, Empathy, and Ability to Inspire) to evaluate applicant leadership qualities. It was predicted that the Non-Disabled applicant would be evaluated more positively than either the Visually Impaired applicant and/or the applicant needing the use of a wheelchair on the LPC scale, LBDQ scale, and the six dimensions of leadership. The results failed to support these predictions. The Visually Impaired applicant and the applicant needing the use of a wheelchair were rated more positively than the Non-Disabled applicant across all leadership scales and dimensions of leadership.




People with disabilities - Employment