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Attitudes of able-bodied young adults towards disabled people

Elliot, Susan (2013) Attitudes of able-bodied young adults towards disabled people. University of Cumbria.

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Abstract

This mixed method study examined the attitudes of able-bodied young adults towards disabled people. It also examined which factors were predictors of Yuker, Block and Young’s (1970) Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons (ATDP) scores. Two questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, using photographic images of disabled people, were employed. The questionnaire section involved an opportunity sample of 81 undergraduates from the University of Cumbria who completed two questionnaires, one of which was the ATDP Form A (Yuker, Block & Young, 1970) and the other was designed by the researcher. Eight undergraduates from the University of Cumbria participated in the qualitative section and the data was analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) guidelines to thematic analysis. It was found that able-bodied young adults have positive attitudes towards disabled people and the regression analyses indicated that ‘Own Attitudes’ was a strong positive predictor of ATDP score (β = .46, t = 4.44, p < .001). The interviews revealed that whilst participant’s attitudes were positive towards disabled people they still held stereotypical views of an older person, in a wheelchair. Furthermore, respect and inspirational feelings were evoked when viewing a picture of a disabled person who was considered to have strength of character and intelligence.

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