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The biopsychosocial model and neurodiversity: A person-centered approach

Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2023), 16, 25–30

The biopsychosocial model and neurodiversity: A person-centered approach

AUTHOR(S)

Christopher E. Whelpley 1, Holly D. Holladay-Sandidge 2, Haley M. Woznyj 3, and George C. Banks 4
1 Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
2 University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
3 Longwood University, Farmville, VA, USA
4 University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA

ABSTRACT

LeFevre-Levy et al., (2023) help bring neurodiversity at work to a wider audience, and we agree with much of what the focal article explores, particularly around removing the stigma associated with diagnoses under the neurodiversity umbrella. However, the authors miss some of the nuance around the historical roots of neurodiversity and how that could pose threats to neurodiversity research moving forward. Notably, a tension exists between the social model of disability, from which neurodiversity draws, and the medical model, which could result in harm to those considered neurodiverse (Haegele & Hodge, 2016). To resolve this tension, we propose an adaptation of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model (Engel, 1977) as a middle ground for scholars and organizations. We present this model as a person-centered approach to improving research and practice around neurodiversity.

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