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Evaluating social work students' attitudes toward physical disability

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Evaluating social work students' attitudes toward physical disability
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Haskell, Rachael
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Disability
Attitudes
Social workers
Interactions
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Dissertations, Academic -- School of Social Work -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
ABSTRACT: Given the social work profession's commitment to serving individuals with disabilities and cultural competence, the promotion of favorable attitudes toward persons with disabilities within social work education is critical. This study examined the question: "what are the attitudes of undergraduate social work students at three universities toward individuals with physical disabilities as measured by responses on the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale Form B (ATDP-Form B; Yuker et al., 1960, 1966) and Interactions with Disabled Persons Scale (Gething, 1991)?" It explored the following hypotheses, that participants who: 1) have had prior positive contact with persons with physical disabilities; 2) have higher perceived levels of knowledge about issues affecting persons with physical disabilities; and 3) have had more social work classes will respond with more positive attitudes than other participants. Sociodemographic data about gender, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, and university affiliation was also collected to measure the possible impact of these characteristics on student attitudes. The primary aim is to learn more about the way undergraduate social work students generally view individuals with physical disabilities and feel about interactions with this population.
Thesis:
Dissertation (PHD)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Rachael Haskell.
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Evaluating Social Work Students Atti tudes Toward Physical Disability by Rachael A. Haskell A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Social Work College of Behavioral and Community Sciences University of South Florida Professor: Michael Rank, Ph.D. raida Carrion, Ph.D. Charlotte Dixon, Ph.D. Jane Roberts, Ph.D. Date of Approval: June 21, 2010 Keywords: disability, attitude s, soc i al workers, interactions, contact Copyright 2010, Rachael A. Haskell

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To my inspirational parents and brothe r for your unyielding faith in me growing up, and beyond. Youve shown me how to balan ce realistic expectati ons with infinite dreams, and to enjoy life. To my grandparent s for raising my parents to be so kind and strong, and for sharing your love and wisdom with me. To my great -aunt Irene, cousin Jo-Ann, aunt Debby, and Elaine for treating me like a star. To uncle Wayne, uncle John, and all my uncles and aunts for spoiling me. To Juliann the first Ph.D. in our family for encouraging me. And to Toni for keeping me laughing for the past eighteen years. I am fortunate to have a rare, large tapestry of clos e cousins, family and friends who like nothing more than to laugh together and stand by each other, no matter what the distance. To my husband, Rhode, for your patience and generosity. You defy gravity. I am lucky I found you to roll down the aisle besi de, and so happy to be a part of your wonderful family. To our babies/ puppies, Li ttle Bear and Butterfly, for making us smile everyday and reminding us to be thankful for all we have.

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S Id like to thank Dr. Michael Ra nk, Dr. Iraida Carrion, Dr. Charlotte Dixon, Dr. Jane Roberts, and Dr. Tennyson Wright for your support throughout my dissertation. You are amazing instructors and Im so grateful I ha d the opportunity to learn from you all. Im also grateful to have had the guidance and friendship of my colleagues Dr. Robert Lucio, Dr. Joan Re id, and all my peers in the doctoral program at the University of South Florida. To Nancy Gewirtz, MSW, Ph.D. who was and will always be my mentor. You made social change seem not only possible, but within grasp, and your passion inspired me to pursue my doctorate degree. You are missed, but your work lives on.

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES .............................................................................................................iii LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT.........................................................................................................................v CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION..................................................................................1 Significance of the Study.................................................................................................5 Implications for Social Work.......................................................................................5 Cultural Competence.................................................................................................11 Purpose of the Study......................................................................................................17 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................................18 Models for Viewing Disability......................................................................................18 Attitudes as Described in this Study .............................................................................24 Measuring Attitudes Toward Disability.........................................................................26 Attitudes Toward Disability among Helping Professionals/Students ...........................34 Possible Impact of Information & Contact on Attitudes...............................................38 CHAPTER THREE: METHODS .....................................................................................47 Research Design ............................................................................................................47 Sampling ...................................................................................................................... .48 Participants .................................................................................................................. ..49 Measures and Variables ................................................................................................49 Definitions......................................................................................................................55 Process and Procedures..................................................................................................56 Data Collection..............................................................................................................57 Human Subjects.............................................................................................................57 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS..........................................................................................60 Analytic Approach.........................................................................................................60 Contact.......................................................................................................................61 Self-Perceived Knowledge.........................................................................................62 Classes ...63 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION .....................................................................................64 Research Question ........................................................................................................64 Hypotheses 1Contact...................................................................................................67

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ii Hypotheses 2Self-Perceived Knowledge.....................................................................68 Hypotheses 3Social Work Classes..............................................................................70 Demographic Variables And Attitudes..........................................................................70 Linear Regression Models.............................................................................................70 Model 1......................................................................................................................73 Model 2......................................................................................................................74 Model 3......................................................................................................................76 Model 4......................................................................................................................78 Strengths/Limitations.....................................................................................................81 Future Research Directions............................................................................................85 Implications For Social Work Practice..........................................................................88 Conclusion.....................................................................................................................91 REFERENCES..................................................................................................................95 APPENDIX A: TABLES AND FIGURES.....................................................................114 APPENDIX B: SURVEY INSTRUMENT.....................................................................130 Data Form....................................................................................................................130 Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale (Form B) ..................................................133 Interaction With Disabled Persons Scale.....................................................................135 APPENDIX C: CONSENT FORM.................................................................................136 APPENDIX D: INSTITUTIONAL APPROVAL LETTER ..........................................141 ABOUT THE AUTHOR....END PAGE

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iii LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Demographics by University .............................................................................114 Table 2. ATDP and IDP Scores .......................................................................................115 Table 3. Correlation between Attitude Scores and Contact Variables.............................116 Table 4. Correlation between Attitude Scores, Courses, and Knowledge .......................117 Table 5. Summary of Regression Model 1 ......................................................................118 Table 6. Summary of Regression Model 2 ......................................................................120 Table 7. Summary of Regression Model 3 .....................................................................124 Table 8. Summary of Regression Model 4 ......................................................................127

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iv LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Regression Model 1 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual 119 Figure 2. Regression Model 1 Distri bution of Standardized Residuals ...120 Figure 3. Regression Model 2 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual Figure 4. Regression Model 2 Distribu tion of Standardized Residuals... 123 Figure 5. Regression Model 3 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual 125 Figure 6. Regression Model 3 Distri bution of Standardized Residuals ...126 Figure 7. Regression Model 4 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual Figure 8. Regression Model 4 Distri bution of Standardized Residuals ...129

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v Evaluating Social Work Students Atti tudes Toward Physical Disability Rachael A. Haskell ABSTRACT Given the social work professions co mmitme nt to serving individuals with disabilities and cultural compet ence, the promotion of favorable attitudes toward persons with disabilities within social work education is critical. This study examined the question: what are the attitudes of unde rgraduate social work students at three universities toward individuals with physical disabilities as measured by responses on the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale Form B (ATDP-Form B; Yuker et al., 1960, 1966) and Interactions with Disabled Pers ons Scale (Gething, 1991)? It explored the following hypotheses, that participants who: 1) have had prior positive contact with persons with physical disabilities; 2) have higher perceived leve ls of knowledge about issues affecting persons with physical disabilities; and 3) have had more social work classes will respond with more positiv e attitudes than ot her participants. Sociodemographic data about gender, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, and university affiliation was also collected to measure the possible impact of these characteristics on student attitudes. The primary aim is to le arn more about the wa y undergraduate social work students generally view individuals with physical disabilities and feel about interactions with this population.

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Advocating for historically oppre ssed populations, reducing poverty, and promoting social justice serve as one of the foundations of the social work profession (Reamer, 1999; National Association of Soci al Work, 2003). Given this foundation, the Council on Social W ork Educati on (CSWE) accreditation standards (2004) instruct social work schools to prepare students to alleviat e oppression and social injustice as social work professionals, and to pr ovide students with the knowle dge and skills to practice with a variety of client populations, including : clients with disabilities and clients of different ages, sex, gender, class, marital status, national origin, race, culture, ethnicity, religion, family structure, and sexual orientation with respect. One focus of social work is the provision of advocacy, support, and c ounseling services to individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities have experien ced the kind of oppression and social injustice the CSWE identified, and continue to experience difficulty gaining equal access to society (Oliver, 1996; Rocco, 2005; Ross-Gordon, 1991). According to the United States Congress Committee of Small Business (1989), employment rates, research in patterns of so cial interaction and se gregation, and attitude surveys of human service providers suggest that this society possesses significant prejudice toward individuals with disabi lities. In 1990, Congress found that the number of individuals with disabili ties was increasing as the popul ation was growing older and 1

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enacted the Americans with Disa bilities Act (ADA) in an effort to remove discrimi nation and obstacles people with disabilities may face in many areas of life (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Co mmission [EEOC], 1997). Miller (1999) argued that the ADA strives to remove barriers of all kinds, including attitudinal barriers, that impede individuals with disabilities from full acce ss to community life. In passing the ADA, Congress recognized that society has demonstr ated negative attitudes, paired with discrimination against individuals with disabi lities and identified it as a serious and pervasive social problem (EEOC, 1997, p.1). However, several years afte r the enactment of the ADA, there continues to be barriers to access that keep i ndividuals with disabilities at a disadvantage. One example of such barriers was reported by the General Accounting Office (GAO; 2001) in a study of voting access for individuals with disabi lities. The GAO (2001) reported that eleven years after the enactment of the ADA, 87% of polling places had physical impediments that limited individuals with disabilities ab ility to vote. Accessibility was not even identified as a criteria for selecting polling sites in many counties, and none of the polling places examined by the GAO (2001) had equipmen t adapted for blind voters. In 2008, the GAO reported improvements, but continued gaps in access remain an issue for voters with disabilities. For example, four stat es, Delaware, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Tennessee still have not made plans to provide each polling location with at least one voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, the ADA does not require state and local governments or priv ate entities to take actions that would threaten the significance of a histor ic propertyor impose undue financial and 2

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administrative burdens. Therefore, an individual with a disab ility m ay not be allowed to vote if to provide access would be an undue hardship for the polling site (GAO, 2008). Oliver (1996) argued that when society creates and maintains spaces that persons with disabilities cannot physica lly or metaphorically enter, it reflects the discrimination that individuals with disabili ties continue to experience, wh ile failing to recognize that it is perpetuating it. He also argued that societ y defines disability as a personal problem, and therefore often does not lik en this discrimination to discrimination other minority groups experience (Oliver, 1996). Rocco (2005) concurre d, arguing that, We do not imagine having delayed access to materials, entering buildings from poorly marked entrances, often at the r ear, or denying entrance into public buildings for some disabled adults, restri cting participation in the social, civic, and political life of the community segr egation and discrimination, and we should (p. 2). The low employment rate of individuals with disabilities is another current example of how many individua ls with disabilities experi ence difficulty participating fully in society, especially when compared to the employment rates of individuals without disabilities. Research done at Cornell Univer sity in collaboration with the American Association of People with Disabi lities (AAPD) in 2007 found that out of 22, 382,000 persons with disabilities of worki ng age, only 37.7% were employed, compared to 79.7% of persons without disabilities. The director of Cornells Rehabilita tion Research and Training Center on Disability Demographics and Statistics re ported that the employment gap between persons with and without di sabilities is getting wider, and emphasized that this employment gap makes persons with disabi lities much more likel y to live in poverty (Houtenville, Erickson & Lee, 2007). Cornell University researchers found that the poverty gap is 15.9%, with 25.4% of working-age United States citizens with disabilities 3

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living in poverty compared to 9.5% of those without disabilities. Thei r report also noted that persons with disabilities constitute 28.4 % of working-age United States citizens living in poverty and that 23% of individuals with disabili ties of any age are living in poverty (Houtenville, Erickson & Lee, 2007). Ev en cash benefits from programs like Supplem ental Security Income (SSI), Supplem ental Security Disabi lity Income (SSDI), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Fam ilies (TANF) are often not enough to lift incomes above the federal poverty line. In 2002, 41.6% of adults with a disability who lived in a household with an income belo w the poverty line received income support from SSDI and/or SSI and 6.8% lived in a house hold whose income was from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (Weathers 2004, as cited in Stapleton, Day, Livermore, & Imparato, 2006). The median earnings of working age i ndividuals with disabilities in 2004 was $26,700. These median earnings are $1,900 lowe r than in 2000, and $1,800 less than 1981. Thus, overall, annual earnings of these individuals are not in creasing. In addition, 2003 United States Bureau of the Census Surv ey of Income and Program Participation Report data indicates that their annual median earnings are 33% lower than individuals without disabilities even wh en education and job categor y is factored out. These employment and poverty rates suggest that individuals w ith disabilities experience disenfranchisement and possible discrimination. The disenfranchisement of individuals w ith disabilities is also evident when looking at the history of institutionalization and sterilization of this group from the latter half of the 18th century to the 1960s (Morales & Sheafor, 2002). Between 1907 and 1963, more than 60,000 Americans, mostly wome n with disabilities and institutionalized 4

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women were sterilized without their consent (Reilly, 1991, as cited in P ham & Lerner, 2001). Even in 1995, the National Institute of Health found that 10% of women with disabilities reported coerced st erilization by health care providers (Nosek, 1995, as cited in Hutchison, 2003). They also reported that their health care pr ovider lacked knowledge about reproductive options a nd/or concerns for indivi duals with disabilities. Significance of the Study Implications for Social Work Given the marginalization and poverty expe rienced by so many individuals with disabilities, and social works professional mission to serve those who are "vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty," (National Association of Social Workers (NASW; 1996, p. 1) it is imperative that social workers are prepared for working with this population. In 1999, 11% of social workers with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work identified that they were working with individuals with disabilities as a client population, and an additional 14% were working in geri atrics, where they had clients with agerelated disabilities (R ogers, 1999). This is consistent with 2005 data indicating that 10% of social workers work specifically with individuals who have developmental disabilities, 11% work in health services, and 16% work in aging services (Weismiller, Whittaker & Smith, 2005). Research addressing the question of how ma ny social workers in other fields have had clients with disabilities wa s not available. However, it would be helpful to know, for example, what percentage of social worker s providing outpatient family services have clients with disabilities, in or der to get a more accurate assessment of the percentage of social workers who are working with this population. However, given that the U.S. 5

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Bureau of the Census estimates that approxi mately 19 percent of the population had som e level of disability in 2003, it is likely that re gardless of the social work field they are in, social workers will be providing assessments, interventions, case management, crisis resolution, family support, and a variety of othe r services to individua ls with disabilities. This is especially true given that social wo rkers often work with the poor, and that the number of individuals with disabilities between the ages of 50 to 65 is estimated to double by 2010 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2004, as cited in Bruyere, 2006; Weathers, 2006). Individuals with disabi lities are already one of the largest minority groups in the United States, estimated at approximately 51 m illion people, with th e largest percentage having physical disabilities (30%) (U.S Bureau of the Census, 2003). According to the Child Trends Data Ba nk (2000), children limited in mobility, self-care, communication, or learning are more li kely than other children to be exposed to financial difficulties, home health hazards, pr oblems with medical car e, and low parental health and education status (as cited in Hogan, Rogers, Michelle, & Msall, 2000). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Serv ices (2000) suggested that this trend may reflect the impact of environmental barriers that limit these childrens ability to fully engage in society, as well as the disability itself. In a ddition, a 1997 study found that 31% of children with these disabili ties were reported to be unhappy, compared with only 17% of children without these disabilities. Given that the social work profession is focused on advocating for underprivileged popula tions and on promoting mental health, social workers serving children and families may be faced with the challenge of assessing and treating children with these conditions. More than 60% of social workers are employed in the fields of child welfare/ family support, and mental health services 6

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(Rogers et al., 1999; Weismiller, Wh ittaker & Smith, 2005). Social workers with negative attitudes may have inaccurate perceptions a bout children with these disabilities and may not effectively assess the needs of these ch ildren, and may underest imate their capability to overcome these challenges. This may then inhibit these social workers from fully advocating for children w ho have disabilities. Thus, professional social work, at its best ensures that the plight of the people most devalued and in need, for whom provi ding services is ne ither profitable nor popular, will not be forgotten (Witkin, 1998, p. 1). In addition, Phillips (1985, 1990) found that mental health professionals, such as social workers, may not be aware of the negative societal messages often sent to individuals with disabilitie s (as cited in Strike, Skovho lt, & Hummel, 2004). These messages include: their life is tragic; they are inferior to individuals without a disability, and they are not as capable of successfully fulfilling their roles in life, i.e. as an employee, a spouse or a parent (Vash & Crewe, 2004; Swain, French & Cameron, 2003; Makas, 1998; all as cited in Jaeger & Bowman, 2005). These messages may not be stated directly, but may be evidenced by lack of access and practices like the decision of the federal government to depict former Presiden t Franklin Delano Roosevelt standing up in a national monument honoring him, even though he was in a wheelchair most of his life (Garland-Thompson, 2001). As Garland-Thompson (2001) described, many advocates and scholars in the disability field had wanted to avoid repeating the persistent stereotypes of disability th e ones that tell us that disabi lity is a shameful personal problem relegated to the private realm of ch arity and medicine, but inappropriate in the public sphere (p. 1). Disability advocates eventually prompted President Bill Clinton to have the monument reconstructed to more accurately represent his physical appearance, 7

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but the inscription fell short of delivering the message many disability advo cates wanted. It focused on President Roosevelt as a man with an illness who persevered because of his patience and persistence. Disability advocates sought: a quotation, first of all, that would advan ce the idea that disabil ity is integral to a person's character and life experience, ra ther than a defect to be eliminated. Second, we wanted a quotation suggesting th at the experience of disability can enrich a life, foster leadership, and creat e a sense of community. Third, in keeping with the human scale of the statue, we s earched for words hinting that F.D.R.'s disability made him an accessible -rather than a lofty -hero. In other words, we recommended that any new inscription present disability as a common, yet influential, human experience, one that can be integrated into a meaningful and full life (Garland-Thompson, 2001, p. 2). The Disability Rights Movement focuse d on the need for individuals with disabilities to be identified as equally capable of being pr oviders as they are of being receivers, and as capable of contributing positive, valuable resources to so ciety (Fine and Asch, 1988; Asch, 2001). However, Papadimitr iou (2001) has suggested that regardless of how successful individual with a disability is or could be, he/she may still be faced with the ableist notion that an individual with a disability who is content, competent, and independent is paradoxical or impossibl e (as cited in Toombs, 2001). She argues that this is because someone seen as visibly outside of the norm may arouse uncomfortable feelings, and as Hahn (1988b) noted, may prom pt what he termed existential anxiety (Papadimitriou, 2001, as cited in Toombs, 2001) Existential anxiety refers to the ableist belief that having a disability interferes with the functional capacities necessary to pursue a fulfilling life. These researchers and others argue that this belief can cause discomfort, anxiety about how to interact, and unfavorab le attitudes (Hahn, 1988b; Livneh, 1982; Gething, 1992; Papadim itriou, 2001, as cited in Toombs, 2001). 8

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Strike, Skovholt, and Hummel (2004) sp ecifically examined the perceived competence of social workers and other ment al health counselors related to knowledge about dis ability and related issues using the Counseling Clients with Disabilities Survey, and found that even though 99% of the respondent s reported some prior work with clients with disabilities, with an average of 12 y ears of client experience, participants still reported significant limitations in their percei ved ability to work with individuals with disabilities effectivel y because of a lack of knowledge about how to appropriately and comfortably interact with these clients. In addition, they continued to see clients with disabilities despite self-report of a lack of competence working with this population (Strike, Skovholt, & Hummel, 2004). Thompson (2001) and Lipsky (1980) warn that the influence of helping professionals, like social workers, provides ample opportunities for discrimination (as cited in Hayashi & Kimura, 2004). Research do ne on the attitudes of undergraduate and graduate social work students in the Unite d States (U.S.) and Japan found that U. S. social work students indicated very negative atti tudes on different items measured by Makas Modified Issues in Disabilities Scale (MIDS; 1993, as cited in Hayashi & Kimura, 2004), including the following: 75% stro ngly disagreed or di sagreed that Most people who have physical disabilities expect no more love and reassurance than anyone else; 48% agreed or strongly agreed that Zoning laws should not prohibit group homes for people with disabilities from being establis hed in residential districts; 22% strongly agreed or agreed that For a person with a severe disability, the kindness of others is more important than any educational progr am; and only 30% of undergraduate students strongly agreed or agreed th at It is logical for a woma n who uses a wheelchair to 9

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consider having a baby. In addition, 25% of undergraduate and 22% of U.S. graduate social work students strongly agreed, agree d, or had no opinion about whether People with physical disabilities shoul d get special certification from their physicians in order to apply for a marriage license. This research seems to support Fichten and Amsels (1986) argument that the field of social work s hould do more research about the content of stereotypes and attitudes toward individuals with physical di sabilities. Unfortunately, not much other social work research has been done since. If social workers perceive negative differences between individuals with disabilities and individu als without disabilities, including th at they are more deserving of charity than social action, and that they are less capable of fulfilling valued roles in society, its very possible that they will tr eat them with less hope for positive outcomes. If negative attitudes are ma de up of unfavorable thoughts, feelings, and/or intended behavior, then negative attit udes may lead to unfavorable behavior lacking the advocacy, empathy, and/or commitment expected by the so cial work profession. Furthermore, if a helping profession does not assess the at titudes of its members toward diverse populations, how will that profession gain knowledge about the thoughts, feelings and intended behavior of those it represents? How will it advance respect, acceptance and comfort with diversity? Thes e studies also suggest the need for disability information and education to enhance social workers ab ility to practice in a manner that benefits individuals with disabi lities (Morrison, 2005). Cultural Competence It has been increasingly recognized that cu ltural factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, re ligion, national origin, and ab ility/disability play an 10

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important role in helping prof essionals relationships with clients, and the effectiveness of counseling (Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, 1998; Pope-Davis et al., 2002; Pope-Davis & Coleman, 1997; Ridley, 1995; al l as cited in Goh, 2005). Ridl ey, Baker, and Hill (2001) reflected that cultural competence is critical for all mental health professionals. Other researchers have argued that training culturally competent counselors is essential for bridging gaps in access to so cietal resources by making thei r work more relevant to diverse populations (Pedersen, Draguns, L onner, & Trimble, 2002; Pope-Davis, Liu, Toporek, & Brittan-Powell, 2001; all as cited in Goh, 2005). Roysircar, Gard, Hubbell, Ortega, and We bster (2002) research with counseling trainees in a clinical ps ychology program demonstrated how increased cultural competence can benefit clients in terms of he lp-seeking behavior and satisfaction. In this study, counselor trainees were asked to report their perceived le vel of multicultural competence, then provided with a ten week educational and experiential multicultural competency training. When they were meas ured at post-test, respondents who showed significant and reliable change fr om preto posttest were associated with higher client reports of help-seeking behavior, well-being, and satisfaction. Social work and mental health counseli ng have standards of cultural competence which guide professional practic e in an effort to promote the provision of effective, quality services. Each helpi ng profession has its own defin ition of cultural competence, but many concepts in common about what it means to be culturally competent. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) specifically addresses individuals with disabilities as a cultural group deserving of social workers respect, sensitivity, dignity, and applic ation of culturally competent practice in its Standards for 11

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Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice (2 001). Its conceptua lization of culture is a pattern of behavior includi ng: thoughts, communications, traditions, beliefs, values; racial, ethnic, social and religious group institutions; and ways in which people experience the world around them. In addi tion, the NASW stresses the importance of social workers learning about oppression, social diversity, culture, and strengths of those with disabilities as well as those from a vari ety of other diverse gr oups in the professions Code of Ethics (1996). The NASW (1996, 2001) has stated that cultural competence is a core value of the social work profession and that in order for social workers to deliver effective clinical interventions social workers should be know ledgeable about theories of personality, behavior, environmental influences, physical heath, and impairment and disability, as well as the interplay of thes e factors on psychosocial functioning. Cultural competence is defined by the NASW (2001) as a set of att itudes, behaviors and policies that come together in a system or among professionals and enable them to work effectively in crosscultural situations. It operat ionally defines the term as transforming knowledge into appropriate attitudes and pr actices aimed at producing e ffective services and better outcomes for clients (Davis & Donald, 1997). Given this charge for the social work profession, it is imperative that social workers are given information not only about impairments and limitations individuals with disabilities may face, but also a bout the unique needs and strengths many individuals with disabilities possess, including problem-solvi ng skills, persistence, and patience. Blatt (1987) argued that social workers have starte d to hear and listen to the voices of marginalized groups, but will need to make additional efforts to include people 12

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"who are unable to influence the kinds of stories that are told about them" (p. 306, as cited in Witkin, 1998). Two concepts frequently noted in the field of mental he alth counseling are cultu ral competence and multicultural couns eling competence (Goh, 2005). According to Sue (1998), cultural competence is "the belief that people sh ould not only appreciate and recognize other cultural groups but also be able to work effectively with them" (p. 440). Sue, Arrendondo, and McDavis (1992) define d multicultural counse ling competence as a counselor's beliefs/attitudes, knowledge, and skill s that relate to working with culturally diverse clients (as cited in Goh, 2005). Goh (2005) noted that both con cepts try to capture describe competencies requi red to perform well in ment al health counseling. He suggested that the following definition of cultural competence for mental health counseling is the most comprehensive, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1997, as cited in Goh, 2005): A set of congruent practice skills, behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among pr ofessionals to work effectively in crosscultural situations. It is the ability to demonstr ate skills and knowledge which enable a person to work effectively across cultures: the ability to provide mental health treatment within the cultural framework of the consumer: the ability to provide effective services to people of a specific cultural background, including one different from the provider (p. 27). The American Counseling Association (ACA) (2008) represents nineteen organizations of rehabilitation and mental health counselors who provide specialized services to individuals with disabilities, including the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMH CA), and the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA). The fo cus of both the AMHCA and A RCA is to enhance service delivery to individuals with di sabilities, and to promote excellence in the rehabilitation 13

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counseling profession. These associations recognize the importance of cultural competence in providing quality services. In addition, ARCA (2008) has stated its recognition of the need to eliminate environmen tal and attitudinal barr iers so that more employment and community opportunities are av ailable to individuals with disabilities. The National Rehabilitation Counseli ng Association (NRCA) is another organization with a similar goal. One of the purposes of NRCA (1993) is to: initiate support programs to enhance the ab ility of persons with disabilities to become as self-sufficient as possible, in order to maximize opportunities for fulfilling their role by right to become fully contributing members of society (as cited in Kirk & La Forge, 1995, p. 1). These associations helped prompt th e development of their accrediting organization, the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE; 1994) which is committed to multiculturalism, advocating for the incl usion of all races, ethnic groups, and communities, and the provision of training to enable counselors to improve services to ethnic minorities with disabil ities (as cited in Kirk & La Forge, 1995). In 1992, the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) urged ACA to adopt their suggested standards for multi cultural competencies (Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992, as cited in Kirk & La Forge, 1995). These standards were later expanded (Arredondo, Toporek, Brown, Jones, Locke, Sa nchez, & Stadler, 1996) and have since become a central aspect of all counselors' work (ACA, 2008, p. 1). These standards identify that a culturally skilled counselor understands how culture may affect clients vocational choices and help-seeking behavi or, as well as the appropriateness of counseling approaches. In addition, one sta ndard addresses attit udes, stating that culturally skilled counselors: are aware of their stereotypes and preconceived notions toward minority groups; possess specific knowledge about the particul ar minority groups 14

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they are working with; and recognize that cl ients experience with poverty, stereotyping, and powerlessness can influence the couns eling process (Arr edondo et al., 1996). While not all of the standards spec ifically address the role of attitudes in cultural competence, researchers have argued that th e attitudes of helping professionals can negatively or positively impact their clients. Hunt and Hunt (2000) noted that negative attitudes are believed to result in and reinfo rce discriminatory, bias ed, and stereotypical responses toward people with disabilities ( p. 269). More specifically, researchers have theorized that negative societal attitudes a nd negative attitudes of helping professionals can have a limiting effect on the occupationa l and social success of individuals with disabilities, (Correa, Silberman, & Trust y, 1986; Geskie & Salasek, 1988; Grossman, 1972; Jones & Guskin, 1984; Chubon, 1982; Cook, Kunce, & Getsinger, 1976; Holmes & Karst, 1990) and a negative influence on self -concept (Antonak & Livneh, 1982). Rogers (1951) described self-concept as an organized configuration of perceptions of the self composed of such elements as the percepti ons of ones characteri stics and abilities (pp. 136) that is influenced by the positive or negative valuations of others. Antonak and Livneh (1988) theorized that professionals can strongly influence the attitudes of clients family and peers, as well as the attitude s of society at large toward individuals with disabilities. Some individuals with disabilities may internalize negative attitudes, making it possible for the negative attit udes and actions of others to negatively affect their behavior, relationships, education, health, and employment opportunities (Brillhart, Jay, & Wyers, 1990; Oermann & Lindgren, 1995; Y uker, 1994; all as cited in Milsom, 2006). Beail (1983) argued that the st ereotype has a powerful infl uence in that it provides a 15

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defined fram e within which the stigmatized can move (p. 57). Other researchers have emphasized that it is important to study att itudes toward individuals with disabilities because societal attitudes influence their he lp-seeking behaviors, and their ability to mainstream into society (Arokiasamy, R ubin, & Roessler, 2001; Brodwin & Orange, 2002; Chan, Hedl, Parker, Lam, & Yu, 1988; Wang, Thomas, Wong, Chan, Lee, & Lui, 2002; Leung, 1990, 1993; Cook, 1998; DeLoach, 1994; Moore & Feist-Price, 1999; Yuker, 1994, 1995; all as cited in Chen, Brodwin, Cardoso, Chan, 2002). In their study of students studying to be special edu cation students, Beattle, Anderson, and Antonak (1997) noted that positiv e attitudes are essential for working with this population, because they are likely to en courage the establishment of resources to increase the integration of i ndividuals with disabilities, while negative attitudes support expectations of poor achievement and ina ppropriate behavior. Researchers like Yuker (1988), and Antonak and Livneh (1988), who fo rged the way for disability attitude research, as well as others, have enumerated the need for positive information and environments to change attitudes and help this population integrate successfully into society (Au and Man, 2006; Holmes & Karst, 1990; Jones & Guskin, 1984; Papadimitriou, 2001, as cited in Toombs, 2001). DeLoach and Greers (1981) research found that helping professionals who have negative attitudes toward indivi duals with disabilities often e xhibit behavior that can be harmful to clients with disabilities, including: interpreting as abnormal behaviors c onsidered normal in nondisabled persons; over-emphasizing the effects of disability on adjustment; treating the disabled in terms of their disabilities instead of th eir other characterist ics; consistently underestimating the potentials of thos e with whom they work (p. 46-47). 16

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Funk (1986) argued that this may be because self-advocacy is not what society often expects f rom a person with a disability (as cited in Holmes & Karst, 1990). Holmes and Karst (1990) note that counselors may also adve rsely affect their clients if they have negative attitudes or limited e xpectations of individuals w ith disabilities because they may be reinforcing any internalized selfdoubt the client may have. DeLoach and Greer (1981) argued that, "if lack of knowledge or aversive reactions cause a professional to view severe disability as a catastrophic event which destroys one's chance for a happy, fulfilling life, it will be difficult for her clie nts/patients/students to ever grow beyond her definition of their situation" (p. 44). Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to explore th e attitudes of undergraduate social work students at three different unive rsities toward individuals with physical disabi lities. It will endeavor to describ e the affective, behavior al, and cognitive aspects of attitudes toward this population from a personal and societal perspective. 17

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CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW This review will highlight concep ts, perspectives, theories, and empirical studies in social work and other helping profe ssions such as psychology, rehabilitation psychology, education, and health literature related to the attitudes of helping professionals/students toward disa bility. It will also highlight instruments that have been used to measure attitudes towa rd this population. First, the concept of disability must be examined. Models for Viewing Disability There are many ways to conceptualize the term disability. The U.S. Bureau of the Census (2000) defines disability as a long-lasting sensory, physical, mental, or em otional condition that makes it difficult for him/her to perform daily living activities or impedes him/her from being able to go outside the home alone or to work at a job or business. Activities of daily living were de scribed as getting around inside the home or work, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and getting in or out of a bed or chair (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2003). The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, but goes further to also prot ect individuals who have a known history of disability and those perceived to have a disa bility. The Disabled Pe oples International, a 18

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network of 110 national organizations/assemblie s of disabled people, established to promote human rights of disabled people th rough full participation, equalization of opportunity and developm ent (Disabled Pe oples International, 2008, p. 1) made a distinction between disability and impairment. It defined impairment as the functional limitation within the individual caused by physical, mental or sensory impairment and disability as the loss or li mitation of opportunities to take part in the normal life of the community on an equal level with others due to physical and social ba rriers (p. 41). This definition is very different fr om the definition utilized by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (2003) because it describes disability as the loss of opportunity, not a limiting condition within the individual. Using this definition, di sability could be view ed as the result of limitations imposed by society in terms of access barriers, lack of inclusion, and discrimination, not simply the direct result of a functional limitation. Emerging literature highlights other perspectiv es that view disability as a form of cultural diversity and difference rather than an individual def ect (Davis, 2001; Gill, 1987; Oliver, 1990, 1996; Rocco, 2005; Strike Skovholt, & Hummel, 2004). These perspectives are part of the Minor ity Group, Civil Rights, Independence, Social/Environmental, and Disablism paradi gms (Davis, 2001; Nagi, 1965; Rocco, 2005; Shapiro, 2000; World Health Organization, 2001), which recognize the role of social and physical environments in the life experiences of individuals with disabilities. These paradigms view disability as natural part of life with its challenge to make the environment accessible, and attempts to fix individuals with disabilities as discriminatory because they present indi viduals with disabili ties as less than individuals without disabili ties (Shapiro, 2000). They empha size that individuals with 19

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disabilities can maintain positive abilities even in the context of a physical impair ment (Hahn, 1988a, 2001; Shapiro, 2000; Papadimitr iou, 2001, as cited in Toombs, 2001). Many using these paradigms view the indivi duals with disabilities as a non-ethnic, oppressed minority (Bogdan & Knoll, 1988, as cited in Shapiro 2000; Charlton, 1998; Davis, 2001; Hahn, 1987; Hohensil & Humes, 1988, as cited in Strike, Skovholt, & Hummel, 2004; Lint on, 1998; Oliver, 1990, 1996). Strike, Skovholt, and Hummel (2004), describe how the minority model draws parall els between the experi ences of individuals with disabilities with the experiences of othe r cultural minority groups in terms of their history of stigma, discrimination, and marg inalization. These authors argue that the Dimensions of Personal Identity model (Arredondo, Toporek, Brown, Jones, Locke, Sanchez, & Stadler, 1996) helped reframe th e concept of cultural difference to include not only those who are different ethnically, but also those who have experienced a need for civil rights protection becau se of other characteristics th at make them vulnerable to discrimination. This model describes the impact of different charac teristics on personal identity, including visible demographic char acteristics that can prompt societal stereotyping and contextual characteristics that are less visible but also have an impact on an individual, family or groups experience. This contextual dimension of identity specifies that there are histor ical and socio-cultural forces that affect personal and group identity. From this identity perspective, and the pe rspective of many aut hors in the field of disability research, individuals with disabilities constitute a cu ltural group bound by their common history of oppression and st ereotyping (Hahn, 1987, 1988b; Linton, 1998; Oliver, 1990, 1996; Charlton, 1998; Davis, 2001; Gill, 1994; Mackelpranh & Salsgiver, 20

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1996; Papadimitriou, 2001, as cited in Toombs, 2001). The focus then is not on charity but on an individuals right to be a participating citizen of ones country (Rioux, 1996, as cited in Shapiro, 2000, p. 82). Davis (2001) wr ote that people with disabilities have a unique voice em erging from unique individual and group experiences and that disability scholars have fought hard to get disability in cluded in the race/clas s/gender triad (p. 535). In fact, Rocco (2005) argued that for disab ility and disability attitudes to be viewed as a public issue, they must become as vi sible as the race-classgender triad. He also identified that disability should be more often explored as a social construct, a political concern, and an experience deserving of atte ntion and a theoretical framework in the education of adults/professionals. Hahn (1987) argued that indivi duals with disabilities have not historically been clearly identified as an oppressed minority group because of a prevailing assumption that the disability/functional limitation itself is what creates the unequal access and difficulties they have. His belief was that ou r social environment is shaped by policies that reflect societal attitudes, so the level of access society grants a group of individuals to social organizations, education, empl oyment, architecture, transportation, and communication is reflective of societys attitude s as well. According to this argument, the lack of access experienced by individuals with disabilities is linked to poor attitudes toward this population and that public attit udes as well as physical space make up the environment (Hahn, 1988b). Others have added that if having a disab ility is seen as a tragedy, society will focus on that tragedy as the cause of the lim itations experienced by persons with disabilities in society, instead of looking at the large role societal obstacles 21

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play in creating these difficulties (Oliver 1990; Hahn 1988b; Mackelprang & Salsgiver, 1996; Papadimitriou, 2001, as cited in Toombs, 2001). These m inority group/social models suggest that social action is needed to encourage environmental changes capable of supporting the functioning of individuals with disabilities, and that social change and personal attitude change are inexorably linked. It argues that positive social change, such as increased access and integration of individuals with disabilities in society, will promote more favorable personal attitudes toward individuals with disabili ties, and reciprocally prompt more positive social change. Many utilizing this model have argued that if individuals wi th disabilities have a positive attitude towards themselves, and take pride in not changing themselves to be more like individuals without disabili ties, more positive social change will occur (National Association of the Deaf, 2000; Hahn, 2001). Th is perspective is by many in the deaf community who have argued against cochlear implants, and argued for self and societal acceptance of deafness as a positive form of diversity (Shapiro, 2000). The National Association of the Deaf (NAD; 2000) position statement about cochlear implants is on preserving and promoting the integrity of indi viduals with hearing impairments, and point out the adverse effects of inflammatory statements about these individuals. NAD (2000) pointed out that medical professionals who view deaf ness as a disability and an abnormality to be "fixed" by cochlear im plants have a pathological view that: must be challenged and corrected by greater exposure to and interaction with well-adjusted and successful deaf and ha rd of hearing individuals. The media often describe deafness in a negative light portraying deaf an d hard of hearing children and adults as handicapped and sec ond-class citizens There is little or no portrayal of successful, we ll adjusted deaf and hard of hearing children and adults without implants. A major reason implantation and oral language training have been pursued so aggressively by the media, the medical profession, and 22

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parents is not simply because of the hopedfor benefits that com e with being able to hear in a predominantly hearing soci ety but more because of the perceived burdens associated with being deaf (p. 1) Hahn (2001) conducted a study of individua ls with disabilities about their perceptions of and feelings a bout their disability and found th at these individuals seemed to have to a minority-group perspective. Rema rkably, they indicated that they would not choose to be cured of their disability even if this were possible (Hahn, 2001). Traditionally, disability has been seen from a diagnostic perspective, viewing disability as a problem within the individual s body to be fixed. Under this model, the problems that are associated with disability are thought to reside within the individual alone, not in relation to societ al factors (Olkin, 2002). This medical model focuses on curing this "difference" instead of valui ng the strengths individua ls with disabilities may possess. Viewing individuals with disabi lities from this model may make it easier to engage in what Wright (1983) called a disabil ity spread. This refe rs to the perception that a physical defect or disability spr eads to the mental, social, or emotional characteristics of the person (Wright, 1983). With all of these varying perspectives, it is difficult to define the term disability. Bajekal, Harries, Breman and Woodfield (2004) noted that theories about what defines disability and lay perceptions of disability differ, and research into attitudes towards and experien ces of disability has shown that even individuals with disabilities vary in their response when as ked to indicate whether they perceive themselves as disabled (as cited in Deal, 2006). There are many different types of disa bilities, defined and categorized in a variety of ways. The U.S. Bureau of the Ce nsus (2003) divided di sabilities into the 23

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following categories: sensory disa bilities, physical disabilities mental disabilities, selfcare disab ilities, go-outside home disabilitie s and employment disa bilities. One of the difficulties with conducting research on th e impact of education on attitudes of individuals toward disability is that there is such diversity within this population in terms of both visible and "invisible" characteristics, t ypes of impairment, and many individuals have multiple disabilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census (2000), the majority (58%) of individuals with disabili ties are between the ag es of 16-64 years old, and 37% are 65 years or older (U.S Bureau of the Census, 2003). In addition, the U.S. Bureau of the Cens us (2003) estimates that the individuals with physical disabilities c onstitute the largest subgroup of the disabled population (30%). Physical disabilities te nd to be visible, typically presenting as mobility or manual dexterity impairments. Physical disability has been defined as a condition that substantially limits physical ac tivities such as climbing stai rs, reaching, li fting, carrying or walking (Census Bureau, 2003). Attitudes as Described in this Study Many definitions of attitude have been published in research literature. Antonak and Livneh (1988) estimated that there have been at least 500 di fferent definitions published. However, certain themes em erge in research literature conceptualizing this term. Meyers (1987) proposed that an attitude is a positive or nega tive evaluative reaction or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward an object, experience, person or persons, as evident in someones feelings, beliefs or inte nded behavior. This defi nition is consistent with Castaneto and Willemsens (2006) perspect ive that attitudes have an affective and cognitive dimension, and that these feelings and perceptions may also be related to 24

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behavioral tendencies. They noted that this concept has been referred to as the ABCs of attitudes wherein the affective component re fers to em otions that shape the attitude, the behavioral component refers to the intend ed or actual behavior of the person, and the cognitive component consists of a person s thoughts and perceptions (Sable, 1995, as cited in Castaneto & Willemsen, 2006). Castaneto and Willemsen (2006) and Meyers (1987) view attitudes as the te ndency to react favorably or unf avorably to the world based on his/her values, thoughts, and perceptions. According to Antonak and Livneh (1988), researchers also consistently propose that: attitudes are learned through experience and interaction with individuals, social objects, and events; attitudes are relatively st able; attitudes are often aimed at specific people, situations, events, a nd ideas, termed the attitude referent; attitudes have differing degrees of intensity and direction to ward, against, or away from the attitude referent; and that attitudes are often ma nifested behaviorally when the individual encounters the attitude referent (Antonak and Livneh, 1988). Taifel and Turners (1979) social identity theory argued that negative attitudes can result because human beings seek group belonging, and perceive negative differences between their in-group and the others out-group even when theres no evidence that these differences exist between groups to any larger extent than they do within group. Findings from Taifels (1970) minimal groups experiments revealed that even when participants were assigned arbitrarily to a group with unremarkable differences and did not know one another, members of both groups began to identify themselves with their group, and showed pr eference to members of their group, offering them rewards that maximized their group's outcomes. 25

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The work of many researchers has been ba sed on the belief th at a person m ay not be aware that he/she has a negative attitude. They argue that attitudes can be implicit and explicit (Fazio, Sanbonmatsu, Powell, & Ka rdes, 1986, as cited in White, Jackson, & Jordan, 2006; Robey, Beckley & Kirschner, 2006; Bellezza, Greenwald, & Banaji, 1986; Greenwald, & Banaji, 1995; Greenwald, Mc Ghee, & Schwartz, 1998). Implicit attitudes are those that someone may not consciously be aware of, but can be reflected in stereotypes and the continuing influence of learned associations (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Explicit attitudes have been thought to be accessed when someone is asked to share their thoughts about how one should view and treat a particular attitude referent. The concept of implicit attitudes and meas uring implicit attitudes has also emerged in social psychology research (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Each of these perspectives highlight that attitudes are primarily made up of thoughts and feelings assigned to an attitude referent that may then influence behavior. Thus, from these perspectives, someones attit ude toward an individual with a disability may be more favorable if they associate pos itive thoughts and feelings with the attitude referent. Measuring Attitudes Toward Disability Attitudes toward disability have been m easured in many different ways. Antonak and Livneh (2000) reviewed over forty measur ements of attitudes toward individuals with disabilities of the literature on meas uring attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, listing a variety of direct and indirect measur ement methods. However, there has been no substantial change in the methods of measurement toward this group (Antonak and Livneh, 1995b, as cited in L ongoria, 2006), and the most widely used 26

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instruments are more than twenty-fours year s old. According to Vargas, von Hippel and Petty (2004) this trend appears to be true with regard to attitude measure ment in general (as cited in Longoria, 2006). The studies found by this author primarily used either rating scales or trait attribution scales. Rating scales measure th e degree to which a respondent agrees or disagrees with a statement related to individu als with a disability. Trait attribution scales measure the characteristics respondents asso ciated with a target population, a case scenario, or a photograph of an indi vidual with a specific disability. Trait attribution instruments have been used in attitude studies because they purport to reflect the affective and cognitive component of attitudes. These studies are based in the belief that the traits some one attributes to a group of people offer information about whether he/she feels posi tive about that group and thinks favorably about that group, thus revealing whether his/ her attitudes are favor able or unfavorable. Adjective checklists are one type of trait attrib ution instrument used in the literature to explore attitudes toward individuals with specific disabilities (Siperstein, Bak, & Gottlieb, 1977; Parish, Bryant, & Sherazi, 1976; Goldstein & Blackman, 1975, Williams, 1986, all as cited in Yuker, 1988; Campbell, Ferguson, Herzinger, Jackson & Marino, 2004; Slininger, Sherrill, & Jankowski, 2000; Gray & Rodrigue, 2001, Robey, Beckley & Kirschner, 2006). The adjective checklists of ten used ask respondents to assign attributes toward a group of people presented and use these responses to de scribe traits and perceptions of respondents toward individuals with disabilities. The Adjective Checklist (ACL) is one of the most frequently used trait attribution instruments (Gough, 1960; Gough & Heilbrun, 19 83). The Adjective Checklist (ACL) 27

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consists of 300 adjectives commonly used to describe a persons attributes. Since its development, it has been utilized in more th an 30 studies of children's attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, and has been used for studying attitudes of adults toward disabilities as well (Dy-Liacco, 2002). Other tr ait attribution instruments similar to the ACL are the Personal Attribute Inventory (P AI) (Parish, Bryant, & Sherazi, 1976), and the Berkeley Personality Profile (BPP) (Har ary & Donahue, 1994). Both have been used to study the attitudes of adults and children toward individuals with disabilitie s (Parish, Bryant & Sherazi, 1976; Castaneto & Willemsen, 2006). The Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale (ATDP) (Yuker, Block & Campbell, 1960 ) has been reported to be the most widely used and studied of all scales m easuring generalized attitudes toward indiv i duals with a disability (Antonak & Livnech, 1988; Yuker & Hurley, 1987). It sp ecifically asks respondents to answer on a Likert scale the degree to which they agree with various statements about individuals with physical disabilities. The ATDP measures respondents level of agreement with statements about the characteristics of individuals with di sabilities, the extent to which respondents perceive individuals with disabilities as similar to rather than different from individuals without disabilities, the extent to which the responde nt believes individuals with disabilities should be treated similarly to pe rson without disabilities, and the extent to which the respondent believes individuals with disabilities accept or reject their disability (Yuker and Hurley, 1987). The assumption underlying this survey is that the less similar a respondent thinks individuals with physical disabilities are to individuals without disabilities, the less likely th ey are to believe these individuals should be treated similarly, the more likely they are to believe that these individuals reject their own 28

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disability, and the more negativ e their attitude toward this population. This assumption is consistent with social identity theory (T aifel and Turner, 197 9) and Taifels (1970) minimal groups experiments. Most attitude scales based on Likerts summated rating scales, like the ATDP, are thought to measure the affective and cogn itive aspects of attitudes (Antonak & Livneh, 1988). One of the many strengths of this instrument is that th e ATDP also appears to be capable of measuring respondents behavior al tendencies, because it asks them how people should behave toward this population. Another popular rating scale is the Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons (SADP) (Antonak & Livneh, 1982). According to Antonak and Livneh (1982), responses from administration of both the SADP and ATDP produce a measurement of factors that include derogatory personality stereotypes, benevolent stereotypes, behavioral misconceptions, and optimism/pessimism. These instruments assess attitudes from a societal perspective as o pposed to a personal one. Items typically focus on how individuals with disabilities are, or should be, treated at the societal level (Gething, Lacour, & Wheeler, 1994). ATDP scores have shown moderate to high correlations with measures of attitudes towards persons with disabilities, including the Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale (IDP) (Gething, 1994, as cite d in Junco & Salter, 2004). The IDP was developed in response to criticism that because the ATDP is written at the societal level instead of at the individual level of an alysis, and was designed specifically as a unidimensional measure of the overall attitude toward individuals with disabilities, it cannot be as descriptive as it should be about how a given ra ter feels about a particular 29

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individual in a certain situation (Thom as, Palmer, Coker-Juneau, & Williams, 2003). The IDP is unique in that it focuses on measur ing attitudes from a personal perspective (Gething & Wheeler, 1992). In addition, st udy results have found that the IDP may provide a multidimensional measurement of attit udes toward individuals with disabilities (Thomas et al., 2003). IDP items ask about respondents general fe elings related to so cial interactions with individuals with disabilities, emphasizing the affective aspect of the abcs of attitudes. The scale was developed based on th e idea that attitudes ar e closely related to comfort in social interaction and level of prior close contact with individuals with disabilities. The authors of the scale posit that negative attitudes are more likely to be held by people who have had little prior co ntact with individuals with disabilities, because they may feel uncertain of how to be have or what to expect from the person. The authors also proposed that a pe rson may develop a negative att itude if they experience an uncomfortable feeling associated with not having a disability, and aw areness of their own vulnerability (Gething & Wheel er, 1992, as cited in Daruwalla & Darcy, 2005). It was developed in Australia, but has been translated into four languages and received international validation from nine countri es (Daruwalla & Darcy, 2005). Results have indicated that there was item homogeneity regardless of the country and language it was interpreted into (Gething et al., 1997, as cited in Au & Man, 2006). A couple of criticisms have been cons istently been made about all of the instruments noted here. These criticisms are th at they may be susceptible to socially desirable responding and should be more specific in measuring attitudes toward specific types of disability and in specific contexts. Attitude instruments that directly ask about 30

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how respondents think or feel about individuals with disabi lities have been especially questioned about their ability to measure atti tudes accurately because respo ndents may be tempted to hide and distort their answers to respond in a socially desirable way (Cunningham, Preacher, & Banaji, 2001, as cited in White, Jackson, & Gordon, 2006; Wright, 1983; Gething, 1994; Hagler et al., 1987; Siller et al., 1967, as cited in Thomas et al., 2003). However, the findings have been mixed with regard to specifically how vulnerable these instruments are to social ly desirable responding (Cannon & Szuhay, 1986; Yuker, 1986, as cited in Morrison, 2005). For example, within the multitude of studies Yuker and Block (1986) conducted using the ATDP, there were seventeen positive correlations when compared with Edwards Social Desirability Scale (EDS) (Edwards, 1957, as cited in Morrison, 2005) and Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSD) (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960, as cited in Morrison, 2005) scores. However, the median correlation score was .20, only a small indication that social desirability influences ATDP scores and not enough to threaten the validity of the scores (as cited in Morris on, 2005). In a study by Morrison (2005) of 280 undergraduate students, social de sirability did not appear to impact the ATDP ratings in the study. Similar findings were noted by Hunt and Hunt (2000) and Thomas et al. (2003) when they compared ATDP and MCSD scores. With regard to the IDP and socially desirable responding, Loo (2001) found that there was a significant relationship between IDP and MCSD scores for two scales of Gethings (1994) six factor mode l, but the correlations were very small, ranging from r= .22 to -.29. For the remaining four scales, there was no significant relationship, with correlations ranging from r = -.05 to .08. Another study yielded similar findings about 31

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two scales underlying the IDP (Thomas et al., 2003). In contrast, a study by Gething & Wheeler (1992) reporting the psychometr ic properties of the IDP showed a nonsignificant relationship between ID P and MCSD sc ores, indicating that social desirability did not have a significa nt effect on scores. The other criticism of attitude scale instruments is many focus on the term "disability," but do not ask a bout attitudes toward those with physical disabilities, or sensory impairments, or mental health disabi lities, etc. in particular. Researchers have found that attitudes toward individuals with disabilities is influenced by the type of disability (Wong, Chan, Cardoso, Lam, & M iller, 2004, as cited in White, Jackson, & Gordon, 2006) and many have developed scales such as the Attitudes to Blindness Scale [AB] (Cowen, Underberg, & Virillo, 1958, as cited in Antonak & Livneh, 1988) and Scale of Knowledge and Attitudes toward Epilepsy and People with Epilepsy [ATPE] (Antonak & Rankin, 1981, as cited in Ant onak & Livneh, 1988) to measure these attitudes. Deal (2006) found that even the attitudes of people with disabilities towards other people with disabilities is influenced by the type of impairment, producing the following rank ordering of the most accepted to the least accepted impairments: Deaf, Arthritis, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, HIV/AIDS, Down's Synd rome and Schizophrenia. It has also been found that attitudes towa rd individuals with disabilities may be impacted when asked about disability in a general versus specific societal context. One study of 513 introductory psychology course st udents in the United States, Taiwan, and Singapore found that in the context of indivi duals with disabilitie s dating and getting married, Singaporean students had more positive attitudes than Taiwanese students, 32

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however, in the general context, there was no significant difference in attitudes between Singaporean and Taiwanese stude nts (Chen et al., 2002). Unfortunately, there are very few reliab le and valid instruments that ask about specifi c disabilities, and examining attitudes wi thin just one context or disability could limit the scope of attitude data. Given this, and the paucity of recent research about the attitudes of social work students toward indi viduals with disabilities, this study will start with a wider lens, exploring attitudes of social work students toward individuals with physically disabilities in genera l. It will utilize both the ATDP and IDP scales, because the instruments have been widely tested in st udies about attitudes to ward individuals with physical disabilities, have demonstrated psychometric soundness, are more likely to yield data that can be used in comparisons with other helping professionals, (Gething 1994a; Gething, Wheeler, Cote, Furnha m, Hudek-Knezevic, Kumpf, McKee, Rola & Sellick 1997; all as cited in Daruwalla & Darcy, 2005; Antonak & Livneh, 1988), and have been thought to be a useful in combination toge ther (Thomas et al., 2003; Hickson & Smith, 1996; Kowalsky, 2005). In particular, the ATDP ha s been used more extensively than any other attitude scale and correlates well with measures relating to specific disabilities, representing strengths of this instrument in particular. Thomas et al. (2003) conducted a study using both the ATDP and IDP, and clearly identified that that the reason for examining attitudes with both instruments was the idea that the IDP may provide valuable supplementary information to the ATDP (Thomas et al., 2003). This reason was also cited by the authors of a study on the attitudes of 180 nursing and teaching students (Hickson & Smith, 1996). They found that these two measures worked well together in predicting respondents responses about how 33

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likely they would be to work in the special education/disability field in the future, and whether they had an interest in undertaki ng post-graduate study in special education. Those who demonstrated more positive attit udes toward people with d isabilities as measured by the ATDP and IDP were significan tly more likely to identify higher levels of self-efficacy toward future interactions with individuals with disabilities, and more interest in gaining increased experience a nd education related to individuals with disabilities, than those with more nega tive general attitudes (Hickson & Smith, 1996). The ATDP and IDP were also used to gether in a study examining whether the attitudes of physical therapy clinicians, physical therapy faculty, and physical therapy students are related to their perceptions of th e ability of individuals with disabilities to function effectively as physical therapis ts. Results supported the argument that perceptions of the abiliti es of individuals with disabilities are related to attitudes toward individuals with disability, with more positive attitudes being positively correlated with more accurate perceptions about the abilities of i ndividuals with disabilities. Findings also supported that the ATDP and IDP can be used to measure perceptions of respondents about individuals with disabilities. Attitudes Toward Disability among Helping Professionals/Students Most of the research found on attitudes of social workers and students toward individuals with disabilities in this review was more than ten to twenty years old, suggesting the need for more current research in this area. As Deal (2006) cited, Antonak and Livneh (2000) give examples of research using each of many attitude measurement methods, but out of 116 references cited in the article, only twenty were published from 1990 or later, suggesting that either limite d research has been performed since 1990 on 34

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attitudes towards individuals with disabilities, or there is a need for a more thorough review of the litera ture pertaining to this topic. In this review of literature on the attitudes of helping professionals and/ or students toward this populat ion, a concerted effort was made to focus on studies conducted in more recent years, unders tanding that it would limit the scope of this part of the review. One study conducted in Hong Kong utilized the ATDP scale to explore the attitudes of health care profe ssionals and their students towa rds people with disabilities (Au & Man, 2000). The attitudes of professionals and student s in a variety of helping professions, including physiotherapists, occ upational therapists, social workers and nurses were assessed. Of over 500 students and 489 professionals selected randomly for this study, the social work students had le ss favorable attitudes than the professional social workers, as well as other types of health care st udents. The average ATDP scale scores for both the occupational therapis ts and students were well above the overall average, and significantly higher than all social work scores (Au & Man, 2006). Another study asked staff at a speciali zed school and hospita l program providing education and support to patients with disabili ties to identify personality characteristics they associate with students without a disa bility and students with a disability (Robey, Beckley & Kirschner, 2006). Participants were 30 staff from a variet y of positions at the facility, including: nursing staff, therapists and therapy related st aff, administrative assistants/clerical staff, nonclinical administrators, and a personal care attendant. All participants had extensive c ontact with patients who have disabilities: 20% indicated having had friends or family members w ith developmental disabilities and 16.7% indicated having had friends with disabiliti es. The assumption of this study was that 35

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respondents attitudes may be invoked by a briefly presented case scenario or presentation of an attitude referent (Fazio, Sanbonm atsu, Powell, & Kardes, 1986, as cited in White, Jackson, & Gordon, 2006). De spite their extensive exposure to persons with disabilities, participants demonstrated infantilizing attitude s toward individuals with disabilities. They were more likely to associate disability-related words with words indicating child-like features than they were to associate non-disability-related words with similar child-like words. This result seemed to be consistent with the stereotype that all persons with disabilities have cognitive impairments, and cannot independently take care of themselves. One study by Schwartz and Armony-Sivan (2001) compared the attitudes of 149 Israeli college students studying social work, la w, science, and natura l science toward the inclusion of individuals with mental retardation and ment al illness in the community. Overall, social work students showed more positive inclusion att itudes to people with disabilities than other students. Another study by Wurst and Wolford (1994) looked at the response of college psychology students in an abnormal psychology and perception course to activities simulating auditory and visual disabilities and a social interaction with individuals with disabilities. Participants reflected a nega tive emotional reaction during the simulation, with the strongest negative reactions being associated with the words "awkward," "isolated," "frustrated" and "anxious" (Wur st & Wolford, 1994). They used the words "distant," "judgmental," and "i gnoring" to describe the attitudes of individuals without disabilities toward individuals w ith disabilities. Even though they reported that after the exercise they were more knowledgeable a bout the challenge of routine tasks for 36

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individuals with disabilities after th e simula tion exercises, felt more emotional empathy for people with disabilities, had a greate r understanding of the mental and physical strength of people with disabili ties, and had more awareness of the stigma associated with disability and more apprecia tion for their sensory abilities their perceived attitude improvement fell short of empowering them to feel confident and respected within their simulated disability experience. When asked how they would change their interactions with individuals w ith disabilities, participants sa id that they would be more patient, offer assistance more of ten, and be more respectful. Fichten and Amsel (1986) also did a study on the attitudes of undergraduate psychology students toward individuals with disabilities. They found that socially desirable traits were attribut ed to the students without disa bilities, including: ambition, dominance, companionability, and extroversi on, while socially undesirable traits were primarily attributed to students with physical disabilities including laziness, submissiveness and introversion. Millington, St rohmer, Reid, & Spengler (1996) argued that individuals with the negative attitudes te nd to perceive people with disabilities as different, incompetent, and inferior to them selves (as cited in Castaneto & Willemsen, 2006). Findings in a study of the at titudes of 194 social work students in Japan indicate that students have a lack of knowledge and experience related to disability issues (Hayashi & Kimura, 2004). Gilson and DePoy ( 2002) reflected that one reason for a lack of knowledge is that di sability content in th e field of social work is still often being taught from the diagnostic pe rspective of the medical m odel (as cited in Hayashi & Kimura, 2004). Oliver (1996) argued that th e introduction of information focused on 37

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changing individuals percep tions from a medical model to a social model would contribute significantly to a m ore beneficial contemporary understand ing of disability. A 2005 study of undergraduate social work student attitudes toward community integration of individuals with mental retardation and mental illness indicated that social work students had the most favorable attitudes out of social science, natural science, and law students. Social work students viewed indi viduals with disabilities as similar to those without disabilities, and did not advocate community segr egation (Schwartz & ArmonySivan, 2001). Possible Impact of Information & Contact on Attitudes There are not only many studies about attitud es toward individuals with disabilities, and theories about what attit udes are and how to m easure them, there are also many different theories about what infl uences attitudes and prompts more negative or positive attitudes. Chubon (1992) categorized attitude theo ries into the following models: consistency, social judgment, functiona l, and stimulus-response learning based. Consistency theories posit that incongruity prompts attitude change (Mulkey, 1980, as cited in Morrison, 2005). They argue that a person has a need for attitudes to remain internally consistent and if this consiste ncy is not maintained, he/she experiences psychological tension and adjusts his/her att itudes in order to achieve cognitive balance (Chubon, 1992). Festingers (1957) theory of cognitive dissonance is a popular consistency theory. This theory suggests th at dissonance among attitudes, opinions, and values leads to dis-equilibrium and a person feels the need to reduce tension by making them consistent. Gething and Wheeler (1992) as sociated their Interactions with Disabled 38

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Persons Scale with the dissonance theory, suggesting that negative attitudes are reflections of the respondents feelings of discomfort, based in uncertainty and anxiety about interactions with an unfamiliar population (as cited in Forlin, Fogarty, & Caroll, 1999). Chubon (1992) presented social judgm ent theo ries as those that suggest a process wherein a person receives information about an attitude object, and forms a perception about that attitude object. Similar to this th eory, information integration theory argues that an individuals attitudes are a reflect ion of their knowledge and beliefs about an object and that introduction to new informati on can promote positive attitudes (Daruwalla & Darcy, 2005). Functional theory suggests th at attitudes serve a purpose and a person will change his/her attitudes if he /she finds it useful to meet hi s/her psychological needs. Thus, psychological needs must be identified and addressed in order to initiate attitude change. Psychological needs can then be addressed wi th reinforcement and adequate information as people develop and change attitudes in a way that benefits them (Chubon, 1992). Stimulus-response learning theory is ba sed on the idea that attitudes can be learned and unlearned in the same way that in formation and behavior is (Hovland, Janis, & Kelly, 1953). It suggests that each pers on has a learning pre-disposition, and some learn by persuasion while others learn primarily with factual information. Another theory on changing attitudes toward persons with disabilities identified two forces that influence attitude change. In this theory, Lewin (1948) described restraining forces as factors that restrict change, and driving forces as factors that can promote changes to existing opinion or behavi or. Evans (1976) suggested that to create 39

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attitude change, one must either minim ize re straining forces, such as discomfort or anxiety, and/or enhance driving forces, like positive disability contact or information, to encourage comfort and investment in change. Thus, all these theories suggest the possibi lity that having information or contact with individuals who have disabilities coul d enhance attitudes among individuals without disabilities (Mulkey, 1980, as cited in Morris on, 2005). From the perspective of each of these theories, coursework or contact would seem to be capable of creating positive attitudes if it: 1) challenges a persons preconceived cogni tions about individuals with a disability thereby causing c ognitive dissonance and a need to adjust his/her cognitive schemas; 2) prompts the person to devel op a positive perception of the information he/she receives about individua ls with a disability; 3) offers psychological benefit or useful information, such as receiving social praise or benefiting from learning a new skill; 4) utilizes a variety of educational ap proaches to meet the diverse learning predispositions of participants, including dir ect contact and indirect informational contact with someone who has a disab ility; and 5) provides educatio n in a comfortable, positive way, reducing anxiety associated with disability and fears about interacting with this population. Researchers have found that when measuri ng attitudes, it is important to explore both the influence of information about this population and prior and current contact with an individual with a disability (Amsel & Fi chten, 1988; Beattle et al ., 1997; Evans, 1976; Gething, 1986; Gilbride, 1993; Yuker & Block, 1986; Yuker, 1994). Information provision through academic curricula has been found to impact attitudes in many studies. More specifically, re searchers have found that teachers, health care paraprofessionals, 40

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and nurses who have had coursework such as behavioral science, rehabilitation, and special education had more favorable attitudes toward individ uals with disabilities than those who had not had this coursework (Mandell & Strain, 1978; Geskie, 1985; all as cited in Morrison, 2005; Felton, 1975), and that scores improved from pre to post attitude measurements over the duration of coursework (Sadlick & Penta, 1975). The results of Beattle et al. (1997) were consistent with Morrisons (2005) review of research and other findings that information provision can promote positive attitude change, but primarily in combination with positive contact (Barre tt & Pullo, 1993; Jones, Sowell, Jones, & Butler, 1981; Pernice & Lys, 1996; Pfeiffer, 1989; Schwartzwald, 1981; all as cited in Herbert, 2000; Anthony, 1972). They asserted that the quality of the contact and characteristics of the professor with a v isible disability in their study may have contributed to the positive attit ude change in that he/she seem ed to present to participants as competent, socially skillful, good with communication, and accepting of his/her disability (Beattle et al., 1997). Another study looked at the effectiveness of a variety of interventions with 433 prospective special education teachers and found that the combination of curriculum content/ information and positive contact with individuals with disabilities can be effective in promoting favorable attitudes to ward disabilities (Beattle et al., 1997). The prospective educators at this university were already in volunteer placements at agencies that serve students with disa bilities, however, many of thes e placements were in special segregated settings with children with severe disabilities. As the researchers pointed out, these settings may have led the prospective educators to believe th at all students with disabilities are severely disabl ed and can only be educated in segregated classrooms. 41

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Thus, they were concerned that the kind of contact they were having with individuals with disabilities could pote ntially prompt a limiting view about individuals with disabilities and their ability to in tegrate into society. In an effort to investig ate factors that would promote positive attitudes, the rese archers provided one group of students with exposure to a teacher with a visible disabili ty instructing the class, and another group with both exposure to a teacher with a visible disability and disabili ty related information (Beattle et al., 1997). Results revealed significan tly more favorable at titudes in the group that was both taught by professor with a vi sible disability and received disability information (Beattle et al., 1997). Estes, Deyer, Hansen, and Russell (1991, as cited in Morrison, 2005) examined the impact of information provision via academ ic curricula and contact experience in a study of occupational therapy st udents in their first and la st semester of coursework found that fourth semester students held sign ificantly more favorable attitudes toward individuals with disabilities than those in th eir first semester, as measured by the ATDP. They argued that the curriculum provided stud ents with information and contact with individuals with disabilities, which had a positive impact on their attitudes toward disability (Estes et al., 1991, as cited in Mo rrison, 2005). This is also consistent with Begabs (1968) study of related to mental retardation with a group of newly admitted and graduating students in graduate social work programs. The study found that the social work students who had a family member with mental retardation had more favorable attitudes than those who did not, but the most favorable attitudes toward mental retardation were graduating students who had gained clinic al experience with mental 42

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retardation. Therefore, the combination of classroom education and contact through field placement had the largest im pact on attitudes. In addition, previous contact, especially pos itive contact, has been associated with more favorable disability att itudes even prior to any resear ch-implemented intervention (Evans, 1976; Amsel & Fichten, 1988; G ilbride, 1993). One study found that college students who had previous contact with individuals with a physical disability at baseline were more at ease with their peer s who have disabilities than those who had no contact (Amsel & Fichten, 1988). However, researchers have also pointe d out that an uncomfortable or limited experience may promote less favorable atti tudes (Evans, 1976; Shapiro, 2000; Yuker 1988; Wright, 1980). Robey, Beckley and Kirs chner (2006) found that exposure alone is not enough to promote positive attitudes. Thus the quality, closeness, and length of contact may influence its impact on attitudes. Au and Man (2006) compared the attitudes of 511 students and found that a significant factor in affectin g the scores on attitude was the quality of the contact with individuals with disabilities with positive contact producing more favorable scores. Yukers (1988) review of 274 studies exploring the impact of c ontact with disabled on attitudes toward disability found that inte raction with persons with disabilities is associated with positive attitudes when the person with a disability is perceived positively and the person without a disability does not believe that: (a) disability is the most important char acteristic of [people with disabilities]...; (b) ...people [with disabilities] are differ ent, incompetent, inferior, and... have negative characteristics; and (c) ...nondisabled persons ar e unable to cope with... [people with disabilities] and their problems (Yuker, 1988, p. 274). 43

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Yuker (1988) found that people with disabi lities indicated that strangers regarded them as being much mo re unfortunate than friends did (p. 11). He posited that if a difference is visible, is regarded as ne gative, and the observe r lacks a context for understanding the difference, a negative perception will be assigned (Yuker, 1988). Thus Yuker (1988)s work suggests that positive exposure leads to a more favorable perspective of disability, and exposure that is perceived to i ndicate difference and inequality leads to a less favor able perspective of disabilit y. In one of Yukers (1994) studies, he found that when an individual with a disability disclosed information about his or her condition, reduction of tension resulted among subj ects without a disability (Yuker, 1994). Gilbride (1993) suggested th at interactions between i ndividuals with disabilities and individuals without disabi lities promote favorable attitu des when they are positive, take place over time, and involve cooperation and mutual benefit. This is consistent with Allports (1954) contact theory that prejudice between groups will de crease with contact if they have equal status, co mmon goals, cooperation and supp ort from societal authority, but may increase if contact occurs in the context of inequality. Donaldson (1980; as cited in Herber t, 2000) found that contact was only associated with favorable attitudes when the individual with a disabi lity was similar to the individual without a disa bility in terms of educatio nal and work achievement, and other status factors. In additi on, it has been argued that cont act with an individual with a disability is associated with less favorable attitudes if it evokes fear or guilt (Wright, 1980). These negative reactions could reinfor ce stereotypes about th e experience of those 44

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with disabilities, highlighting that helping professionals s hould not assume that their attitudes are positive just because they have had exposure to people with disabilities. These many studies demonstrate that information received via academic curricula and contact are factors that should be exam ined when assessing attitudes toward this population. In this study, both these factors we re taken into consideration, but with limitations to be discussed in the methods chapter. The two other instruments that were used in this study offer the benefit of having been used to measure both the possible im pact of education re ceived and contact on attitudes. Gething (1994) found that pr ofessionals who received training about individuals with disabilities showed significant attitude ch ange over time in one study utilizing the IDP for attitude measurement (a s cited in Fogarty, Forlin, & Carroll, 1999). Another study found that education student s demonstrated decreasing levels of discomfort over a three year period of preservice study as measured by the IDP (Gething 1991), with similar findings by Beckwith and Matthews (1994) betw een first and later year undergraduate students (as cited in Fogarty, Forlin, & Carroll, 1999). Gething (1991) found that those with lower levels of educat ion experienced greater discomfort in their interactions than those with higher levels of education. A nother study indicated that the attitudes of students who completed a rehabili tation internship had significantly more positive attitudes on the ATDP-A than those who had not (Morrison, 2005). In addition, IDP scores have been thought to be as sociated with perceived knowledge about disabilities and a variety of other sociodemographic variables (MacLean & Gannon, 1995, as cited in Loo, 2001). 45

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Prior level of contact with people with di sabilities has also been associated with scores on the IDP and ATDP. Highe r levels of contact have been significantly associated with more favorable attitude scores on the IDP in ma ny studies (Gething, 1991; Gething, 1991a, as cited in Fogarty, Forlin, & Ca rroll, 1999; Beckwith & Matthews, 1994; Gething, 1991, 1994; MacLean & Gannon, 1995, as cited in Forlin, Tait, Carroll, & Jobling, 1999). The results of one study indica ted that pre-service teachers who had more frequent contact with individuals with disa bilities expressed less discomfort on the IDP than those who experienced less frequent cont act (Forlin, Tait, Carroll, & Jobling, 1999). Morrison (2005) found a signi ficant difference between the pre-test ATDP-A scores of those who had close, personal c ontact and those who had more distant or no contact, indicating that intimate contact has a positive effect on attitudes toward disability. Another study using the ATDP found that American and Taiwanese students with prior contact with people with disabilities were more optimistic, had greater concern about human rights, and showed fewer behavi oral misconceptions a bout individuals with disabilities than students with no prior c ontact (Chen et al., 2002). These studies and others suggest that ATDP and IDP scores have been related to information presented in educational curricula and th e amount and type of contact respondents have had with individuals with disabilities, and demonstrate that contact sh ould be examined in further research (Algaryouti, Alghazo, & Dodeen, 2003; Morrison, 2005). 46

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CHAPTER THREE: METHODS This studys aim was to build on prior disability research by exploring the attitudes of undergraduate social work st udents toward individu als with physical disabilities. It considered th e possible impact of contact w ith individuals with physical disabilities, perceived level of knowledge a bout individuals with physical disabilities, am ount of social work coursework, and ot her demographics on those attitudes. Research Design This was an exploratory, one-shot case study. The research question was what are the attitudes of undergraduate social work students at three different universities toward individuals with physical disabilities as measured by responses on the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale Form B (ATDP-Form B; Yuker et al., 1960 1966) and Interactions with Disabled Persons Scal e (Gething, 1991)? This study explored the following hypotheses, that participants who: 1) have had prior positive contact with persons with physical disabilities; 2) have higher perceived leve ls of knowledge about issues affecting persons with physical disabilities; 3) have had more social work classes will respond with m ore positive attitudes th an other participants. This question was investigated using a sociodemographic da ta form, and two quantitative surveys 47

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administered to undergraduate social work students at three diffe rent universities in Central Florida. Sampling The study selected participants from a pur posive sample of undergraduate social work student s at three universities located on 3 different campuses in Central Florida. Students were chosen from: the University of Central Florida in Orlando; Saint Leo University in the city of St. Leo, in west cen tral Florida, and South eastern University in Lakeland. The University of Central Florid a is a large public, metropolitan, research university with over 48,000 students on eleven di fferent campuses. Saint Leo University is a Catholic institution with 14,000 trad itional campus and continuing education students. Southeastern University is a Chri stian, liberal arts un iversity with over 2,900 students. These universities were chosen because the author had access to them, and they are different in size and location. In additi on, the universities are diverse in terms of being secular or faith based institutions. The sample was selected from current, available classes approved by the directors of each undergraduate school of social work at each campus. Potential participants were given time to complete the surveys during cla ss time or bring them home to review and return them the following week. The number of participants was anticipated to be 145 students initially, given an 80% response rate. This response rate was based on studies with in-class surveys from researcher s including Claudio and Stingone (2008), Dommeyer, Baum, Hanna, and Chapman (2004). The University of Central Florida (UCF) anticipated having 80 students, St. Leo University (St. Leo) anticipated having 40 students, and Southeastern University (SEU ) anticipated having 60 students. However, 48

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the response rate was much lower at 31%. It could be that giving potential participan ts the option to complete the surveys at home decreased the response rate. Participants Data was collected from 55 female a nd 1 m ale undergraduate social work participants from UCF (24), St. Leo (12), a nd SEU (20). Participants were between the ages of 18 to 54 years (M = 26.11, SD = 9.53). The mean age of St. Leo participants was the highest, (M = 27.67, SD = 8.93), followed by UCF (M = 27.52, SD = 10.30), and SEU (M = 20.40, SD = 1.59). Sixty-six percent of the sample were Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, and 14% Black. Eight-five percent of the sample identified their religious affiliation as Christian, 5% other, and 9% none. Ninety-three percent reported their country of origin was the United States and 7% other. None of the participants identified as having personal self knowledge about issues affecting individuals with physical disabilities. See Table 1 for more detailed information by university. Measures and Variables The studys dependent variable is underg raduate social work student attitudes towards individuals with physical disabiliti es, which was measured with the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale (ATDP) (Yuker, Block, & Campbell, 1960) and Interactions with Disabled Persons Scale (IDP). The ATDP is a scale desig ned to measure the extent to which respondents percei ve individuals with phys ical disabilities as similar to rather than different from individuals without disabilitie s, and the extent to which the respondent believes individuals with disabilities should be treated similarly to person without disabilities (Yuker and Hurley, 1960, 1987). Social identity theory suggested that when a group of people are seen as different from ourselves, they are often 49

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then viewed as inferior, not deserving of e qual treatment, thus negative attitudes result (Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1986) This theory has been supported by the work of m any others examining attitudes and prejudice (Brewer, 2001; Seta, Seta, & McElroy, 2003; Wenzel, Mummendey, Weber, & Waldzus, 2003). Antonak and Livneh (1988) noted that the scale purports to measure the attitudes of individuals without disabili ties toward individuals with disabilities on continuum of acceptance-rejection and attitude s of individuals with disabi lities toward themselves on a continuum of self-acceptance-rejection of ha ving a disability. However, no research was found in this studys literature review indicating that the surv ey should only be used with only individuals without disabili ties or only with individuals with physical disabilities. It has also been argued that this instrument measures how responde nts think individuals with disabilities should be treated at the societal level (Gethi ng & Wheeler, 1992) and thought to measure a generalized positive or ne gative attitude toward individuals with physical disabilities (Morrison, 2005). The authors of the ATDP conducted an exte nsive review of th e disability-related literature to identify descrip tions of individuals with disa bilities that c ould be applied when forming the construct statements us ed in the ATDP (Yuker, Block, & Younng, 1966, 1970). The content validity of the ATDP scale was established by having multiple psychologists review the descrip tions of disability found in th e literature by the authors to identify the extent to which they were relevant and could be used in the scale. Construct validity was demonstrated through convergen t and discriminant validity. Convergent validity was assessed by correlati ng ATDP scores with other attitude toward disability measures with correlation sc ores ranging from .09-.98. 50

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This study will utilize the AT DP Form-B developed later as a 30 item equivalent for m of the original (Yuker, Block & Cam pbell, 1962, 1966). It usually takes ten minutes to administer. The scale asks respondents to answer I agree very much +3, I agree pretty much +2, I agree a litt le +1, I disagree a little -1, or I disagree pretty much 2, I disagree very much -3 to items depi cting two types of statements. One type of statements ask about perceived characteristics of individuals with phys ical disabilities and the other type of statements address percep tions about how individuals with disabilities should be treated. Items include: very few disabled persons are ashamed of their disabilities, and disabled people are not as se lf-confident as physically normal persons. Yuker and Block (1986) noted that the ATDP Fo rm B test-retest reliability for over three weeks or less is .74-.91 with a median score of .79, and .68 over a five month period. The split-half reliability score for the ATDP Fo rm B ranges from .72 to .83. Rao (2004) noted that recent studies found a median reliability score of .80 when tested with the same reliability measures. Where ATDP (Forms A and B) items re flect a difference between individuals with disabilities and individuals without disabilities, the difference has negative connotations, implying that low scores reflect the perception of persons with disabilities as both different and inferi or or disadvantaged to so me degree (Yuker, Block, & Campbell, 1962, 1966). Thus it is thought that lower scores reveal a more negative attitude and higher scores on the ATDP rev eal a positive attitude because they reflect perceptions of individuals with disabilities as similar to in dividuals without disabilities (Yuker & Block, 1986). 51

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Half of the items are worded positively and half are worded negatively, so to score the scale, the signs of the positively word ed items need to be altered first. Then the responses need to be summe d, with the sign of the sum reversed to eliminate any negative value. Scores range from 0-180. Yuker and Bl ock (1986) reported that the mean ATDP score for Americans based on the average scores from 29 studies was 117.1. The other quantitative measurement that wa s administered is the Interaction with Disabled Persons (IDP) Scale (Gething, 1991). It was first created in Australia, and between 1988 and 1990, was based on a sample of over 6,000 cases. As discussed earlier, the IDP scale was designed to measure feelings of discomfort in social interactions as a primary factor underlying negative attitudes, and was argued to be closely related to contact with individu als with disabilities (Gething & Wheeler, 1992). The scale contains 20 items corresponding to a 6-point response scale ranging from agree very much to disagree very much with no neutral point on the response scale. The IDP scale consists of twenty items asking about their general feelin gs related to interac tions with individuals who have a disability. Items in the scale include: I admire thei r ability to cope "; I feel overwhelmed with discomfort about my lack of disability"; and "I wonder how I would feel if I had this disabilit y." The IDP is thought to be composed of underlying factors in its measurement of attitudes (MacLean & Gannon, 1995; Gething, 1994; all as cited in Fogarty, Forlin, & Carroll, 1999; Thomas et al., 2003). The f actors include the following: discomfort in social interactions, contai ning items relating to a respondents potential behavior and reaction to meeting someone with a di sability; coping/succumbing framework, containing items relating to the view that a respondent was likely to take towards a person with a disability; perceived level of information, was measured by items 52

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relating to information about disabi lity; vulne rability, containing items related to concern about becoming disabled and its impact (Fogarty, Forlin, & Carroll, 1999). IDP test-retest reliability coefficients have ranged between +.51 for a one year period to +.82 over a two week period. Item homogeneity measured with Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha revealed values ranging from +.74 to +.86 (G ething & Wheeler, 1992, as cited in Gething, Lacour, & Wheeler, 1994). These results seem to compare favorably with those of other attitude measures (Antonak & Livneh, 1988). Gething (1991) reported internal consistency reliabilities from .74 to .86. The estimates of the total-scale reliability for the IDP were found to exceed .75 in the studies noted by Fogarty, Forlin, and Carroll (1999). In addition, Gething (1991) found significant correlations between the IDP scale scores and scores on other measures of attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, demonstrating c oncurrent validity. Correlation scores between IDP and other scale scores were significant w ith total and subscale scores ranging from r = -.22 to -.44 (Gething, 1991). As discussed in the background literature, the quality and frequency of contact with a person who has a disability, as we ll as information/knowledge about disability related issues have been found to influence attitudes, and researchers have suggested examining the impact of these factors on at titudes in additional studies (Algaryouti, Alghazo, Dodeen, 2003; Gilbride, 1993; Mo rrison, 2005; Yuker 1988). Thus, the ATDP and IDP will be accompanied by a data form that gathers sociodemographic information, including prior direct contact experience, possible placemen t experience with individuals with disabilities, amount of social work coursework completed, perceived knowledge about disabilities, gender, age, and race/ethnicity, as these variables may also influence 53

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attitudes. On the data form, participants will b e given a written definition of physical disability and direct contact as defined be low, and asked to answer five questions, including the following: H ow would you characterize your relationship with the individual(s); How often did you have dir ect contact with this individual(s)?; and Overall, what was the experience with this individual(s) like? Data form items were designed to explore variables of intere st in this study. Items were based on sociodemographic data forms from simila r studies by Morrison (2005), Upton and Harper (2002), and placement types/populations information listed in the universities field program materials. With regard to curriculum information, the data form asked how many social work courses respondents have had, assuming that the more social work coursework respondents have had, the more information they may have that could influence attitudes. The second assumption was that gaining in formation about human diversity, human behavior, and/or race and cultu re may influence attitudes. This assumption was based on the fact that each of the unive rsities in the study have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the e ducational objectives se t forth by the CSWE are aimed at promoting perceptions conducive to effective work with various populations (2004). It is also based on rese arch discussed earlier that leve l of education in the helping professions has a differential impact on att itudes toward this population. In addition, the content and the way content is presented in each class at each university will not be identical, so it cannot provide an equal co mparison with regard to the amount of information or kind of information respondents have based on data collected in this study. 54

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One of the limitations of the data form was that it is not a sta ndardized instrument, and it did not collect data about the ki nd of inform ation being provided in the respondents academic coursework or what cla ss they were selected from to be potential participants in this study. It also did not examine the po ssible influence of different courses on attitudes as this would seem to be more feasible and appropr iate as an area for future research. Responses to items about contact (yes/no) gender, race/ethnicity, and placement type/population provided nominal data about the possible infl uence of these variables on attitudes. The participants responses about their self-perceived level of knowledge regarding the conditions and lif e circumstances of individuals with a physical disability, as well as the quality and amount of contact questi ons, produced interval level data. Ratio level data was collected from responses about the number of individu als with disabilities the respondent has had contact with, the respond ents age, and the number of social work courses he/she has had. Definitions This studys focus was on measuring attitude s toward individuals with a physical disability. The Census (2000) definition of physical disability was used in this study, thus describing physical disabi lity as a condition that s ubstantially limits physical activities such as climbing st airs, reaching, lifting, carrying or walking (C ensus Bureau, 2003). Such disabilities can be acquired gene tically, prenatally, at birth, and as a result of other conditions, like cardi ac problems, injury or ag ing. It was difficult to quantitatively account for any possibly conf ounding attitude differences (especially possible age-related attitudes) that may have resulted from including various forms of 55

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disability acquisition toge ther. However, most instruments for m easuring attitudes toward individuals with disabilities do not di fferentiate between types of disability. Thus, this study defined disability according to th e U.S. Bureau of the Census (2003) without specifying the type to minimize threats to th e reliability and validity of the instruments selected. This definition was us ed to ask respondents if they have had prior direct contact with an individual with a physical disability on the sociodemographic data form. The term direct contact as util ized in this study was defined as having intera cted in-person with a person(s) who has a physical disability. It was assessed with five data form items. This study utilized Meyers (1987) defin ition of attitude as a favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction to ward something or someone, exhibited in ones beliefs, feelings or intended behavior (as cited in Shapiro, 2000, p. 10) For the purposes of this study, attitude was operationally defined as th e scores acquired on the ATDP Form B and IDP. Process and Procedures The first step in conducting the study was to select potential students for inclusion in the study. Undergraduate social work progr am directors from each of these universities were asked to select each social work class section available at their university for participation. Once class sections were identified, the author contacted each instructor to discuss the study, and arranged the specific date that they were able to present the study to their students for participation. The author then distributed envel opes with instructions regarding informed consent, completion of the surveys, and specifics regarding debriefing and follow-up options to each in structor to read to students/potential participants at the start of the st udy and during the research procedures. 56

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Data Collection The attitude measures were administered in the third month of the semester because instructors needed time to get students familiar with them and the course before introducing a research study. Instructors from each selected class met with their students to discuss the study and informed consent. They then provided instructions about research procedures. Students were instructed by their in structors not to complete the surveys twice, in the event that they are in more than one class section involved in the study, and not to complete the survey if they are not a social work major. Instructors asked students to comp lete the informed consent form, sociodemographic data form, ATDP-Form B, and IDP if they agreed to be part of the study. The measures and informed consent procedure took approximately 30 minutes total with informed consent procedures taki ng 5 minutes, the sociodemographic data form taking approximately 5 minutes, the ATDP-F orm B taking 10 minutes, and IDP taking 10 minutes to administer. Instructors gave the students 45 minutes to provide ample time to review and/or complete the research materi al before collecting the students sealed envelopes. Participants were reminded of th e contact information they can use for followup, questions, or concerns, on the informed consent form and students were thanked for their time. Human Subjects The subjects in this stud y were undergraduate social work students in one of seven social work groups. To reduce the risk that students would feel pressure to participate, their instructor explained that their participation is completely voluntary, confidential, anonymous, and will not in any way affect their grade or education. In 57

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addition, they were reminded that they shoul d seal their envelopes, so even their participation or non-participation would not be known by their instructor. When the instructor provided verbal inst ructions, he/she provided ever y student with an envelope containing inform ed consent material, a sociodemographic data sheet and two surveys, and offered to answer any questions. The enve lope was given to all students in the class for review, and the instructor advised student s who wish to participate to review the consent form and do their best to honestly complete the measures, if they chose to participate. Participants and their data remained a nonymous, i.e. never associated with the participant name. The instructor introduced th e research, instructing the class to: review the research material, keep a copy of the informed consent form; and seal the envelopes with the remaining research material, regardless of whether theyve decided to participate or not. The instructor left the room while they were reviewing the material to ensure privacy, and then collected all of the stude nt envelopes, without knowing or indicating which potential participants chose to part icipate and those who did not. Potential participants were reminded by their instruct or that they could withdraw consent to participate at any point by st opping responding to research items. One area of possible human subjects concern was the fact that the researcher did not administer the instruments, so partic ipants may not have felt as comfortable contacting a stranger if they were in n eed of follow up support. However, students who agreed to participate were encouraged to cal l the researcher, faculty supervisor, and/or Internal Review Board(s) to ask any questions that may arise, at any time. 58

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In addition, as discussed earlier, respondents may have fe lt pressure to respond in a socially desirable way, especially w hen some of the research material was being distributed and collected by their instru ctors, and participants may have felt uncomfortable responding or may experience cognitive dissonance. Instructions were read aloud by the instructor to remind potential participants that responses would remain anonymous, and that honest answers are most he lpful. Participants were not asked for their names at any point in this study. 59

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CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS First, raw data was checked for accuracy of data entry. A frequency analysis was run on each variab le in the dataset and descriptiv e data to verify that all data fell within the range of the possible responses and no outlying data was found. Analytic Approach Quantitative data was entered into the St atistical Package for Social Services (PASW Statistics 18) for analyses and data graphing. Descriptive statistics were run on the socio-demographic data collected on the data form, including nominal (gender, race, contact yes/no, contact relations hip, contact quality, field pla cement type), and ratio (age, number of courses taken within the social work major) level data to examine their possible relationship with attitudes toward i ndividuals with disabilities, as measured by the ATDP Form-B and IDP. These variable s were also examined with analysis of variance (ANOVA), post hoc analyses, regr ession analysis, and correlations. The research question asked what the at titudes of undergraduate social work students at three universities were toward individuals with physical disabilities as measured by responses on the ATDPB ( Yuker et al., 1960 1966) and IDP (Gething, 1991). The hypotheses were that participants who: 1) have had prior positive contact with persons with physical disabilities; 2) have higher perceived leve ls of knowledge about 60

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issues affecting persons with physical disabilities; and 3) have had more social work classes will respond with more positive attitudes than othe r participants. For each factor examined in the study, a descriptive analysis was run. The analyses included m easures of central tende ncy, including the mean, range, and standard deviation of each variable. Correlations were then run on all the independent variables to examine possible relationships between them, as well as their possible relationship with the dependent variables. ANOVA s and t-tests were used to determine whether there is a statistically significant relationship betw een demographic, know ledge and contact variables and total at titude scores. A one way ANOVA wa s run for university, ethnicity, religion, and country of origin. Many variab les were re-coded for certain analyses, including country of origin a nd university, and t-tests were run to look more closely at possible statistically significant relationshi ps between groups. Those variables found to have a statistically significant relationship with total attitude scores were identified and entered into regression analyses, re sulting in four regression models. Contact The mean score of the number of contacts participants repo rted they had with a person who has a physical disability was 9.96 (SD = 20.8). This score ranged from 1 to 39. Frequency of contact was measured with an item asking participants to indicate how often they had contact with each individua l they know with a physical disability. The values ranged from (1) rarely (2) occasionally, (3) often, to (4) very often The mean frequency of all contacts for all participan ts was 2.60 (SD = .90). In addition, the mean frequency of all contacts for each particip ant was calculated and used in regression analyses described in the next chapter. 61

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Each respondent was also asked to ra te the quality of their experience (negative, neutral, positive ) with each person with a disability they identified having contact with, then the mean of all these values (-1 to 1) was computed. The mean quality of contact score of all contacts for a ll participants was .59 (SD = .50), indicating a neutral to positive experience. The mean quality of all contacts for each participant was calculated and used in regression analys es described in the next chapter. Proximity of contact was measured by as king respondents to indi cate the type of relationship they had with the individual(s) with a physical disability they identified having contact with. There was overlap am ong these responses, with participants reporting they had multiple kinds of contac ts with individuals who have a physical disability. Responses were grouped into fam ily (relative, spouse, child, sibling), friend (family friend, personal friend), professiona l (client, fellow student, supervisor/teacher, co-worker), and distant relati onships (strangers and acquain tances) then weighted as follows: (3) close, (2) mid and (1) distant. Thirty-six percent of participants reported at least one distant relationship with an individual who has a physical disability, 32% reported at least one family relationshi p, 29% reported at least one professional relationship, 27% reported at least one friend relationship, and 7% reported having had no contact. Self-Perceived Knowledge Self-perceived level of knowledge responses ranged from (1) no knowledge to (6) extensive kn owledge Participants had a mean score of 3.86 (SD = 1.15), indicating that, on average, they reported having a bit of knowledge about the life conditions of individuals with physical disabilities. Participants were also asked where they gained 62

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knowledge in this area, with multiple answers possible. Si xty-six participants said they received their knowledge from social work education, 60% from other experience, 39% from media, 31% from volunt eer experience, 20% from research/literature, and 18% from personal experience. Social Work Classes The number of social work classes ranged from 1 to 17, with a mean score of 8.0 (SD = 4.90) Fourteen percent of participan ts reported having taken 8 classes, 11% reported 4 classes, UCF students reported having had 22 classes in their social work education thus far, SEU reported 19 classes, and St. Leo reported 10 classes. This indicates that participants were freshm an, sophomore, junior, and senior level undergraduate social work students. Twenty-four of these students indicated that they had started a field placement, in addition to classes. The data form asked participants to circle the item that best describes the placement population, placement issue, and placement setting. Responses indicated that approximately 43% had started in field placement, with 43% working with children and families, 13% working in schools, 12% in inpatient or outpatient mental health, 11% working with adults, 5% with the homeless, 4% with seniors, 2% with individuals who have developmental disab ilities, 2% with individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, 2% with sex offenders, 2% with caregivers. None of the respondents identi fied working with individuals who have physical disabilities or in group homes in their placement. 63

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CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION Research Question What are the attitudes of underg raduate social work students at three universities toward individuals with physical dis abilities as measured by responses on the ATDPForm B and IDP? The responses on the ATDP and IDP were analyzed to examine the overall attitudes of these students toward individuals with physical disabiliti es. A s discussed in previous chapters, it is purported that the ATDP measures the degree to which respondents perceive individuals with disabili ties as similar, and IDP scores measure the degree of discomfort associated with interactions with individuals with disabilities. The assumption underlying the ATDPForm B is that the more similar the respondent perceives individuals with physic al disabilities are to individu als without a disability, the more positive their attitude is so higher scores indicate a more positive attitude. The IDP is based on the idea that the less discomfort a res pondent has when perceiving interactions with individuals w ith physical disabilities, the more positive hi s/her attitude is. The scores on the ATDP Form B ranged from 79 to 170, with a mean score of 122.13 (SD = 20.54). The scores on the IDP rang ed from 30-89 with a mean score of 58.86 (SD = 13.41). 64

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These mean scores are consistent wi th findings reported by Yuker and Block (1986) for Am ericans based on the average scores from 29 studies (M = 117.1) and studies from Gething and Wheeler (1992) indicating a mean score of 67. UCF had the highest ATDP-Form B mean score (M = 129.92, SD = 18.60), followed by St. Leo (M = 120.58, SD = 18.52), and SEU (M= 113.70, SD = 21.24). St. Leo had the lowest IDP mean score (M = 53.67, SD= 10.03), followed by UCF (M = 56.75, SD = 12.59), and SEU (M = 64.50, SD = 14.63). Thus, SEU (20) had the highest levels of discomfort, followed by UCF (24), and St. Leo (12). This information is summarized in Table 2. However, differences found between partic ipants based on univ ersity affiliation were analyzed with caution since the number of participants from each university was different, and it appears that the difference ma y have been the result of a small sample size. To control for the possible impact of di fferences in university size, data from each university was also recoded into large (UCF) and small university (St. Leo and SEU combined) categories. Independent sample t-te sts were run by large and small university and the size of the university was found to be significant for the ATDP t(54) = 2.58, p =.013, but not for the IDP t(54) = -1.02, p = .313. When these attitude surveys were also analyzed for their relationship to one another, Pearson correlations reveal a statistically significant moderate negative relationship between the total scores for the ATDPForm B and IDP ( r (56) = -.433, p < .01). This indicates that as one of the attit ude surveys total scor e increased, the other attitude survey total score decreased. Acco rding to research literature describing what these attitude instruments are purported to measure, this correlation suggests the possibility that 1) participants tended to feel more comfortable with individuals with 65

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physical disabilities when they perceived them to be more similar to individuals without physical disabilities, and/or 2) the more comf ortable participants felt in their interactions with this population, the m ore similar to in dividuals without physical disabilities they perceived them to be. Frequencies were run on ATDPForm B and IDP items individually and where the majority answered in one di rection or another, i.e. agr ee vs. disagree, the results are reported here. Items where the majority of part icipants answered that they agree at least a little, included: Disabled pers ons do not become upset any more easily than nondisabled people (ATDP, N=56, 64.3%); Most people feel uncomfortable when they associate with disabled people (ATDP, N=56, 75.0%); It hurts me when they want to do something and cant (IDP, N=56, 94.7%); It is rewarding when I am able to help (IDP, N=56, 98.2%); I feel frustrated b ecause I dont know how to help (IDP, N=56, 82.1%); I feel ignorant about disabled people (IDP, N=56, 58.9 %); I am grateful that I do not have such a burden (IDP, N=56, 85.7%); I admire their abil ity to cope (IDP, N=56, 96.5%); I feel better with disabled peop le after I have discussed their disability with them (IDP, N=56, 71.4%). These items seem to indicate that participants want to be able to help individuals with physical disabilities, but feel frustrated when they dont know how to help or feel like they need more information to interact in a positive manner. Items where the majority of participants disagreed at least a little included: Disabled persons should not expect to lead normal lives (ATDP, N=56, 92.8%); Disabled people are not as happy as non-di sabled ones (ATDP, N=56, 92.8%); Most physically disabled persons have different personalities than normal persons (ATDP, 66

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N=56, 82.0%); I dread the t hought that I could eventually end up like them (IDP, N=56, 57.1%). These items seem to reflect em pathy and a belief that individuals with disabilities should be able to expect an opport unity to lead a norm al life, as well as some awareness of their own vulnerability as posited by Gething and Wheeler (1992, as cited in Daruwalla & Darcy, 2005). Hypotheses 1Contact Participants who have had prior positive contact with persons with physical disabilities will respond with more positive attitu des than other participants. This hypothesis was analyzed by examining scores from data form items asking about the quality of contact, as well as the frequency and proximity of relationship the participant reported he/she ha d with the individual(s) w ho has a physical disability. Pearson product-moment correlations were run between these contact variables and the ATDPForm B and IDP. These revealed a statistically significant moderate relationship between the ATDPForm B and quality of contact ( r (52) = .393, p < .01 ). The IDP was shown to be moderately correlate d with frequency of contact ( r (50) = -.500, p < .01), and moderately correlated with quality of contact ( r (52) = -.321, p < .05). Both of these correlations were statistically significant. Analys is of this data indicated that, in general, the more positive the contact reported was, th e higher the ATDP-Form B total score was. This fits with prior research (Yuker 1988; Au & Man, 2006) which proposed that positive exposure leads to a more positive view of individuals with physical disabilities, and the way they should be trea ted at the societal level. Frequency of contact and proximity of rela tionship were variable s analyzed in this study, given the findings of many resear chers (Begab, 1968; Evans, 1976; Robey, 67

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Beckley & Kirschner, 2006; Shapiro, 2000; Yuker 1988; Wright, 1980) which suggested that not only the quality, but also closeness of relationship an d frequency of contact with an individual who has a disabili ty, may influence attitudes. W ith regard to proximity of relationship to individuals w ith a physical disability, there was no significant relationship with the ATDP-Form B total scor e ( r (56) = -.062, p = .650) or the IDP total score ( r (56) = -.129, p = .343). Frequency of contact was not f ound to have a statistically significant impact on ATDPForm B total score ( r (50) = .143, p = .32), but did have a moderately strong negative relationship with IDP total score ( r (50) = -.50, p < .01). This is consistent with Gethings (1992) work which suggested that those who have had more prior contact with individuals with disabilities feel less uncomfortable in interactions with this population. Frequency of contact and relationship proxim ity could be considered an influence, not only on this quality of contact variable but also on participants level of selfperceived knowledge. Therefore, contact frequency and relationship proximity were examined related to level of self-perceived knowledge as well. See Table 3 for correlation scores between attitude survey totals and contact scores. Hypotheses 2Self-Perceived Knowledge Participants who have higher levels of self-perceived knowledge about issues affecting persons with physi cal disabilities will respond with more posit ive attitudes than other participants. There was n o significant relationship between the ATDP-Form B and selfperceived knowledge about issu es related to life with a physical disability. However, a Pearson correlation indicated a moderate sta tistically significant negative relationship 68

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between self-perceived knowledge and the IDP ( r (56) = -.437, p <. 01). Participants with higher self-reported leve ls of knowledge tended to report le ss discomfort interacting with individuals who have a physical disability. This is consistent with prior research which indicates that individuals with higher levels of self-perceiv ed knowledge, whether gained through contact, experien ce, academic curricul um, both, or other sources can contribute to lower levels of discomfort when interacting with this po pulation (Estes et al., 1991, as cited in Morrison, 2005). The closer proximity participants indi cated having, the higher self-perceived knowledge of disability issues was ( r (56) =.474, p < .01), with a moderate positive statistically significant relati onship. In addition, the more fr equent contact participants reported having, the higher self -perceived knowledge reported ( r (50) =.458, p < .01), also with a moderate positive statisti cally significant relationship. One interesting finding was that there was no statistically significant relationship between the number of social work classes and self-perceived knowledge (r (51) = -.007, p = .959), even though social work coursework was reported most often by participants as their primary source of knowledge. This study did not examine the kind of information being taught in the participants social wo rk classes, but Gilson and DePoy (2002) suggested that if classes ar e only being taught from the diagnostic perspective of the medical model, they may not be effective in making people feel knowledgeable about this population (as cited in Hayashi & Kimura, 2004). See Table 4 for correlations between the ATDPForm B total score, IDP total score, number of social wo rk courses and level of self-perceived knowledge. 69

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Hypotheses 3Social Work Classes Participants who have had more social work classes will respond with more positive attitudes toward individuals with physical disabilities than other participants. This hypothesis was examined by running a Pearson Correlation of the number of social work classes reported by participants with ATDPForm B and IDP scores. Results indicated no statisti cally significant relations hip between these vari ables. The correlation between the ATDPForm B and number of social work classes was r (51) =.049, p =.731. The correlation with the IDP was r (51) = .080, p =.575. Although social work education was identified the most often (67%) by part icipants as the source of their knowledge about disability issues, it was not significantly related to ATDP-Form B attitude scores ( r (54) = .210, p = .127) or IDP scores ( r (54) = -.087, p = .534). This was in contrast to other research which showed that attitude scores improved from pre to post attitude measurements over the duration of coursework and/or field placement experience (Felton, 1975; Mandell & Stra in, 1978; Geskie, 1985, all as cited in Morrison, 2005; Sadlick & Penta, 1975). This could suggest th e need for social work classes to target disability related issues as an area for more attention, and possibly with a focus on provision of a combination of positive contac t opportunities and academic information. Demographic Variables and Attitudes Age, ethnicity, religion, and country of origin were demographic variables examined in this study. Gender was removed fr om analyses as there was only one ma le participant. A one way ANOVA was run for et hnicity and religion, a nd a t-test run on country of origin to examine their possi ble relationship to ATDPForm B and IDP 70

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scores. Although these variables m ay have influenced attitude scores, any notable differences were not detected, perhaps because of the small sample size. Ethnicity (coded into three categories; Caucasian, Black, and Hispanic) did not have a statistically significant relation ship with ATDPForm B total score ( F (2, 53) = 1.93, p = .155) or IDP total score ( F (2, 53) = 1.65, p = .202). Pa rticipants who identified as Hispanic had the highest levels of di scomfort (M = 63.91), followed by Caucasian (M = 58.68), and Black (M = 52.75). Among three cat egories of religion (Christian, Other, and None) no statistically significant differe nce was found between ATDPForm B total score (F (2, 52) = 1.23, p = .884) or their IDP total score, F (2, 52) = 1.33, p = .273. Participants who identified as Christian ( 47) had highest levels of discomfort (M = 59.89, SD = 13.78) when compared to those who answered other (3) with a mean score of 49.00 (SD = 11.71), and those who reported that they had no religion (5) with a mean score of 53.60 (SD = 12.00). U.S. born participants (51) had higher leve ls of discomfort (M = 59.18, SD = 13.01) when compared to other (4) with a mean score of 50.25 (SD = 16.38). However, a t-test run on country of orig in with ATDPForm B total score (t(53) = 1.17, p < .248) and IDP total score ( t (53) = -1.30, p < .199) revealed no statistically significant relationship with par ticipants attitude scores. There was also no statistically significant correlation between age and ATDPForm B scores (r (55) = .181, p =.185), but IDP attitude scores revealed a moderate statistically significant relationship ( r (55) = -.454, p < .01). This indicates that as age of participants went up, discomfort with indivi duals who have physical disabilities went down. Age also had a statistic ally significant moderate positive relationship with mean 71

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frequency of contact score ( r (50) = .426, p < .01) and self-perceived knowledge ( r (55) = .458, p < .01). Linear Regression Models Based on all of these analyses, the variab les that had a sta tistically signifi cant relationship with ATDPForm B and/or IDP sc ores were selected for entry into four different Linear Regression m odels. In addition, the ATDP and IDP were entered into the models not only as dependent va riables in order to further examine their relationship with one another. Attitude scores included in these models were based on IDP and ATDPForm B total scores. Quality of contact is the mean score of ratings assigned by participants for each contact reported with an individual w ho has a disability combined. Frequency of contact is the mean score of th e number of times part icipants reported for each contact with an individual who has a disability combined. The first model examines the impact of mean frequency of contact and mean quality of contact on ATDPForm B total score. The second mode l used IDP total score as the dependent variable, with self-perceived level of knowledge, frequency of contact, and quality of contact entered into the regr ession analysis. The third mode l used ATDPForm B, selfperceived level of knowledge, frequency of cont act, and quality of contact entered with IDP total score as the dependent variable. This model explained more of the variance in total attitude scores than the other models The fourth model was run with the same variables as the latter model, except with ATDP-Form B total score as the dependent variable. 72

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Model 1: Frequency of Contact and Quality of Contact, Dependent VariableATDPForm B Total Score Regression analysis of this model resulted in an adjusted multiple regression coefficient of determination ( R2) of .13. This indicates that 13% of the variability in the total ATDPForm B attitude scores can be explained by the variab les included in this model ( F = 4.65, p < .01). Collinearity diagnostics were utilized and it was determined that collinearity is not a pr oblem in this model as the tolerance values was .99 for both quality and frequency of contact. The Du rbin-Watson index score was 1.91, indicating that the residuals are not co rrelated, and within an acceptabl e range. See Figure 1 for the normal P-P Plot regression sta ndardized residuals with expected and observed values predicted values with ATDPForm B Total Sc ore as the dependent variable, and Figure 2 for a histogram of standardized residuals for this regression model. The plot illustrates that most of the residuals follow the line very closely, indicating a moderate to strong degree of normality. See Table 5 for fi ndings from this regression model. Frequency of contact was not found to have a statistically significant impact on ATDPForm B total score. The unstanda rdized regression coefficient was 1.06, indicating that on average, as the mean fr equency of contact increased by 1 point, participants scored 1.06 points higher on the ATDPForm B. The standardized coefficient resulting from this regression analysis was .05 (t = .348, p = .729) revealing a statistically non-significant re lationship between this variab le and ATDPForm B total score. 73

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The unstandardized coefficient resulting from regressing ATDPForm B total attitude score was 13.30. On average, those w ho reported 1 point higher average quality contact with individu als who have physical disabilitie s scored 13.30 points higher on the ATDPFor m B scale assessing the level of perc eived similarity betw een individuals with and without a physical disability. This reve aled a statistically significant, moderate positive relationship of .33 (t = 2.47, p <.05). The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient is [2.47, 24.14], identifying the range of values within which we are 95% sure the population coefficient is contained. Model 2: Age, Self-Perceived Knowledge, Frequen cy of Contact and Quality of Contact, Dependent VariableID P Total Attitude Score The adjusted multiple regression coefficien t (R2) of .35 indicates that 35% of the variability in the total IDP attitude scores could be explained by age, self-perceived knowledge, frequency of contact and quality of contact scores. The data fit the model very well (F = 7.51, p < .01). Collinearity diagnostics showed that the tolerance values were .64, .67, .93, and .75 for age, self-perceived knowledge, quality of contact, and frequency of contact respectiv ely. A value close to one indi cates that the independent variable has little variability explained by the other covariates, so collinearity is not a concern in this model. The Durbin-Wats on index score was 2.21, indicating that the residuals were not correlated, and within an acceptable range. See Figure 3 for the normal P-P Plot regression standardiz ed residuals with expected and observed values predicted values with the IDP as the dependent vari able and Figure 5 for a histogram of the standardized residuals for this model. The plot indicates that most of the residuals follow 74

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the line closely, indicating a moderate degr ee of normality. See Table 6 fo r findings from this regression model. Age did not seem to impact IDP total scores when controlling for other variables. The unstandardized coefficient was -.31. The st andardized coefficient resulting from this regression analysis was -.22 ( t = -1.51, p = .729) revealing a st atistically weak, nonsignificant relationship between this variable and IDP total scores. The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient is [-.72, .10]. This suggests that age may be more related to frequency of contact and self -perceived levels of knowledge than with discomfort, given the statistically significant relationship with frequency and knowle dge discussed in the previous section. The unstandardized coefficient resulting from regressing IDP to tal attitude score and self-perceived level of knowledge about th e experience of indivi duals with physical disabilities was -2.00. This indi cates that as self-perceived level of knowledge increased by 1 point, IDP total score decreased by 2.00 points, on average. However, the standardized coefficient resulting from th is regression analysis showed that the relationship between this variable and IDP scores was not statistically significant within this model = -.16 ( t = -1.12, p = .27). The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient was [-9.4, -.86]. Frequency of contact was the only variable that showed a statistically significant relationship with IDP total scores in this linear regression. The uns tandardized regression coefficient of mean frequency of contact a nd IDP total score was -5.13, indicating that as frequency increased by 1 point, the level of discomfort as measured by the IDP decreased by 5.13 points. The standardized coefficient resulting from this regression 75

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analysis was -.33 ( t = -.24, p <.05), suggesting a moderately strong relationship between these variables when controlling for others in the model. The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient is [-9.40, -.86], indicating the range of values with in which it is 95% certain the population coe fficient is contained. The unstandardized regression coefficient of quality of contact and IDP scores was -5.84, indicating that, on average, as the m ean score of quality of contact increased by 1 point (becoming more positive), particip ants scored 5.84 points lower on the IDP scale. However, the st andardized coefficient value showed that the relationship between these variables within this model was not significant ( = -.21, t = -1.76, p = .09). The 95% confidence interval of th e coefficient is [12.55, .86]. Model 3: Age, Self-Perceived Knowledge, Frequency of Contact, Quality of Contact, and ATDPForm B, Dependent VariableIDP Total Score In this regression model, ATDPForm B total score was entered because of its statistically significant relations hip with IDP total score. Al though the literature reviewed in this study did not id entify any other studies th at used ATDP attitude scores in this way, it seemed to make sense to include it to s ee what its impact would be, along with the other variables in this model. The adjusted multiple regression coefficient (R2) of .43 indicates that 43% of the variability in the total IDP attitude scores could be explained by age, self-perceived knowledge, frequency of contact and quality of contact scores with the addition of ATDPForm B total scores, compared to 35 % without this addition. The data fit the model very well ( F = 8.38, p < .01). Collinearity diagnostics showed that the tolerance values were .64, .66, .72,.78, and .79 for age, self-perceived knowledge, 76

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frequency of contact, qua lity of contact, a nd ATDPForm B total scores respectively, so collinearity was not a concern in this model. The Durbin -Watson index score was 2.42, indicating that the residuals were not co rrelated, and within an acceptable range. See Figure 5 for the normal P-P Plot regression st andardized residuals with expected and observed values predicted values with the ID P as the dependent variable, and Figure 6 for a histogram of the standardized residuals for th is model. The plot indicates that most of the residuals follow the line closely, indicating a moderate to strong de gree of normality. The unstandardized coefficient resulting from regressing IDP to tal attitude score and ATDP-Form B Total Score was -.23. This means that for every 1 point increase in the total ATDPForm B total score, there wa s a .23 decrease in IDP total score. The standardized coefficient indicated that ATDP-Form B total score had a statistically significant impact on IDP total score in this model ( = -.33, t= -2.73, p <.01). This suggests a moderate negative relationship betwee n ATDP total score and IDP total score. The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient was [-.39, -.06]. Regressing IDP total attitude score and age resulted in b= -.28. The standardized coefficient revealed that age did not have an impact on IDP total score when controlling for relevant covariates = -.20 (t = -1.49, p = .14). The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient was [-.67, .10]. Self-perceived level of knowledge about the experience of individuals with physical disabilities also did not have a sign ificant impact on the level of discomfort reported by participants when ot her variables in the model we re entered in. On average, for every 1 point higher the se lf-perceived knowledge score was, the level of discomfort 77

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total score was 2.55 points lower. Th e standardized coefficient was = -.20 ( t = -1.52, p = .137). The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient was [-5.94, .84]. The unstandardized coefficient resulting from this regression analysis of frequency of contact was -4.13, indicating that on average, participants who had more m ean frequent contact with individuals who have a physical disability scored 4.13 points lower on the IDP. This seems to reflect that the more frequent the contact was, the less discomfort participants reported, even when c ontrolling for the possible influence of the other variables. The standardized coefficient resulting from this an alysis shows that the relationship between this variable and IDP total score is statistically significant = -.26 ( t = -2.05, p <.05). The 95% confidence interval of the coefficient was [-8.18, -.07]. The unstandardized coefficient resulting from this regression analysis of quality of contact was -5.84, indicating that on average, for every 1 point increase in mean quality of contact, the IDP total score was 4.13 points lower. The standardized coefficient resulting from this analysis showed that th e relationship between this variable and IDP total score was not statistically significant = -.21 ( t = -1.76, p = .09). This is in contrast to the previous statistically significant correlati on found between these variables, so the impact of the quality of contact became non significant when the other variables were factored in. It is also in c ontrast to results from the next model which used the ATDPForm B as the dependent variable. Model 4: Age, Self-Perceived Knowledge, Frequency of Contact, Quality of Contact, and IDP Total Score, Dependent VariableATDPForm B 78

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Running the regression this way explained 25% of the variance in attitude scores ( F = 4.14, p < .01) with the mean quality of contact ( = .31, t = 2.34, p < .05 ) and IDP Total Score ( = .44, t = .269, p < .01) having a statistically si gnificant relationship with the ATDP-Form B total score. This model doe s not explain as much of the variance as the second and third models. Collinearity did not appear to be a problem, with a Durbin Watson score of 2.05, tolerance values ranging from .59 to.87, VIF values from 1.15 to 1.68. See Figure 7 for the normal P-P Plot regression standardized re siduals with expected and observed values predicted values with the IDP as the dependent variable, a nd Figure 8 for a histogram of the standardized residuals from this linear re gression. This plot indica tes that most of the residuals follow the line closely, indicati ng a moderate to strong degree of normality. The unstandardized coefficient resulting from this regression analysis of mean quality of contact was 12.76, indicating that on average, participants who had more 1 point higher mean quality of contact with individuals who have a physical disability scored 12.76 points higher on the ATDPForm B. The standardized coefficient of .31 suggests a moderate positive relationship with ATDPForm B total score. This seems to reflect that the more positive the contact was, the more similar participants perceived individuals with physical disabilities to be with individua ls without physical disabilities. The unstandardized coefficient resulting from this regression with IDP total score entered in was -.65, indicating that on average, participants who scor ed 1 point higher on the IDP, scored 4.13 points lower on the AT DPForm B. The standardized coefficient resulting from this analysis shows that the relationship between this variable and IDP total score is moderately str ong and statistically significant = -.44 ( t = -2.73, p <.01). If 79

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these instruments accurately measured what th ey have purported to m easure, these results seems to reflect that the more discomfort pa rticipants reported a bout interactions with individuals who have physical disabilities, th e less accepting of their own disabilities they viewed individuals with physical disabilities to be, and/or the less similar to individuals without disabilities they believe them to be. However, when the linear regression was run in the third model with IDP total score as the dependent variab le, the model explained 18% more variance than when the ATDPForm B was the dependent variable, even when the rest of the model was entered the same. Thus, a better explanation of how these attitude scores relate to one another may be that perhaps the extent to which par ticipants perceived i ndividuals with physical disabilities as comfortable w ith their own disability and similar to individuals without physical disabilities influenced participants level of discomfort in interactions with individuals who have disabilities as measured in this study. This is consistent with social identity theory developed by Tajfel and Turner (1979) who proposed that negative attitude s can develop when we categorize people as similar enough to be a member of our own ingroup, or as different from ourselves and assign negative stereotypes to that group. Their theory at tempted to explain ethnic/ religious and other kinds of prejudice, but may contribute to an understanding of the results from this regression model which seem s to suggest that the level of similarity perceived by participants between individuals with physical disabi lities and individuals without disabilities had more of an influence on comfort in interactions than vice versa. Comparison of these models also suggests that the level of discomfort as measured by the IDP was more impacted by frequency of contact and self-perceived 80

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knowledge than participants view of similari ty and beliefs about how individuals with physical disabilities should be treated as purportedly measured by the ATDPFor m B. See Tables 7 and 8 for additional findings from these regression models. In summary, quality of contact and fr equency of contact influenced attitude scores more than any other variables. This is perhaps because the more often and positive contact is experienced with an individual with a physical di sability, the more similarly these participants viewed individuals with physical disabilitie s, and the more comfortable they felt in their interactions with these i ndividuals. It is also possible that the more comfortable they thought individuals with physical disabilities were with themselves, the more comfortable they felt interacting with them. Strengths/Limitations There were many strengths of this study. One is that it highlights that individuals with physical disabilities are a population deserving of attenti on in discussions of cultural competence. The oldest and still p revalent medical model describes disability as an individual defect that make s a person different from others, and as a flaw to be eliminated. It is contrary to the concept of disability as a potential source of cultural identity and pride. By utilizing the ATDPForm B, an instrument m easuring the extent to which undergraduate social work students per ceive individuals with physical disabilities to be comfortable with their disability a nd similar to individuals without physical disabilities, this study enabled exploration of disability as a component of identity and a factor impacting how potential social worker s believe society should respond to these individuals as a group. 81

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It was also exploratory in nature, so it en abled consideration of a wide variety of factors possibly influencing at titudes toward individuals wi th physical disabilities. The socio-demographic, knowledge and contact fact ors that were analyz ed were those thought to be associated with attitudes in prior resear ch. Here they were all explored in one study and in more depth with different facets of knowledge and contact included, like: selfperceived knowledge, sources of knowledge, numbe r of classes, field placement status, as well as quality, frequency, and proxim ity of contact. Much of the research found in the literatur e was more than 10 years old, so one of the benefits of this study is that it yi elded up-to-date quantita tive information about attitudes of undergraduate social work st udent attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. The primary aim was to contri bute knowledge about the attitudes of these soon to be social work professionals to th e field of social work education and other helping professions. Because attitudes toward individuals with disa bilities are different across disability type, and cons ciously held attitudes may be different from unconscious, instinctual reactions to groups of individuals, a study factoring in these variables, as well as ones addressed here would most likely be best. However, this kind of study may not be as feasible. Thus explicit attitudes toward individuals with physical disabilities were the focus of this study, but perhaps it will prom pt studies about attitudes toward individuals with other kinds of disabilities, analysis of explicit and imp licit attitudes in combination, or other related studies in the future, as discussed in the next section. A limitation of disability attitude research is that there are many instruments that propose to measure attitudes, but they are ba sed on different definitions of attitude and disability and beliefs about how to best measure these concepts. The attitude 82

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instruments utilized in this study have been widely respected, tested, and used in similar studies, both together and independently. They seem to complem ent one another in terms of the kind of attitude information they offer and look at attitudes from different perspectives. The results from this study s eemed to support perhap s even analyzing the data from these surveys together in a way not previously found by this author in the literature. In addition, using these instruments seems to offer some information about possible future behavior, as they measure participants reported beliefs about what behavior toward individuals with physical disabilities should be, and how comfortable they are in interactions with these individuals However, these surveys do not have a total score value representing a differentiation between positive attitudes and negative attitudes. So the total ATDPForm B a nd IDP scores can only be described in comparison to other groups or be used to detect within group or with pre-post measurement differences. A strength of these surveys is that they have been reported to have only minimal social desirability response bias. In any attitude study, this bias can significantly confound results. So in an additional effort to minimize the possibili ty of participants answering in a way they think would be socially desirable, potential participants were not provided with any incentives to participate, and their anonymity was ensured. However, this project did not measure th e level of social desirability response bias, so it is not possible to speculate about the extent to which these efforts were successful. The results could have been impacted by the latter, and by the relatively small sample size. The sample was expected to be much larger, but participation rates were poor, possibly because the surveys were admini stered at a busy time mid semester and 83

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potential participants were given the option to take th e surveys home to complete. Perhaps those with more favorable attitudes we re the students more likely to take the time to volunteer to complete the surveys and retu rn them to their instructor. And although there was ethnic and age diversity within the sample, the participants were from three different universities, and it was a purposive sample, external validity was limited by the fact that the sample was predominantly white, included only one male student, and no one identified as having a disability. The sa mple was not stratified to ensure accurate representation of social work students across the country. In addition, the type of social work course and content of the courses thes e student participants were taking was not examined, so the consistency of educational course work may have been limited, even though all the universitie s were accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Another limitation was the use of a data form that has never been empirically tested before and was never pilot tested because of time constraints. Items on the form were based on socio-demographic items used in prior attitude resear ch looking at similar factors, but the instrument as a whole has not been standardized. In particular, items asking about sources of disability knowledge and type of field placement were difficult to use in analyses because they were not items th at could be scaled or ranked. This author did not find any standardized in strument that would effectivel y capture all of the essential data for this study. In order to account for the possi bility that participants may have a physical disability that could differentially influence the results in this study, one item on the data form was included that asked responde nts to rate their leve l of knowledge about individuals with physical disabilities, then to identify where they gained this knowledge from, if any. One of the possi ble responses was: "Personal Knowledge: Self or Other. 84

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The data indicated that none of the respondents identified having personal, self knowledge of issues affecting individuals with a physical disability, but the item may have been confusing and m ay still have influenced the results. Even given these limitations, it is the hope of this author that it will prompt more research into the attitudes of social work st udents toward individuals with disabilities. It is an area of study essential for social work education and the social work profession. Future Research Directions The findings from this study did highlight a number of areas for future research. One is that an analysis of the coursework/c ur riculum participants were receiving could have contributed to a better understandi ng of why the number of classes taken by participants did not influence their self-per ceived level of knowledge or significantly impact attitudes toward indi viduals with physical disabi lities, as measured by the regression models in this study. Perhaps a study describing the kind of social work curricula being used in schools of social work to address issues pert aining to individuals with physical disabilities w ith a quantitative component comp aring subsequent attitude scores would be helpful. In particular, it could address what kind of information about disabilities is being provided in schools of social wo rk, including: theoretical perspectives about how to define disability, disability as viewed from a medical model, cultural, and/or strengths base d perspective, and whether differences between individuals with physical disabilities vs differences between disabl ed and non-disabled groupings are highlighted. In addition, the format in which disability information is pres ented, i.e. classroom presentation, exposure to an individual with a disability as a guest presenter, experience 85

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in field placement with this population, and/or simulated disability exercises could be analyzed in relationship to subseque nt attitude scores. In terms of changing attitudes, this study seems to suggest also that having contac t with individuals who have disabilities has the most impact on attitudes, so a study l ooking at attitudes before and after contact would yield helpful information about how th is could be incorpor ated into curriculum effectively promoting more positive attitudes. A pre-post study examining the impact of various forms of information delivery and their differential impact on attitude scores would also be especially helpful in distingui shing what kind of curricula would be most effective in changing attitudes. As discussed earlier, a study of the attitudes including both graduate and undergraduate social work students across the country would e nhance the external validity of findings and enable closer examina tion of the impact of demographic variables on attitudes. A comparison of graduate leve l students vs. undergraduate students would also provide more in depth information about the possible impact of age, field experience and amount coursework on attitudes. It coul d also be used to compare these attitude scores to students from other helping professions. In addition, research analyzing possible s ubscales within these and other attitude instruments would possibly highlig ht factors related to attitu des toward individuals with physical disabilities that were not addressed in this study. It could also offer data about the extent to which survey items thought to measure different aspects of attitudes are significantly correlated and offer an accurate reflection of the assumptions underlying these instruments. For example, Gething and Wheeler (1992) suggested that their attitude survey consists of 4 groups of factors, including discomfort in social interactions, coping, 86

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perceived level of information, vulnerability. No subscales were found in the literature related to the ATDPForm B, but analyses of ATDP instrum ent items in further detail may reveal items that load well together in exploration of attitudes toward this population. Another area for future research would be to explore what influences participation or non participation in attitude surveys, and how can this im pact study results. This could help researchers design study pr otocol that would encourag e higher response rates and contribute to the diversity of the sample and data gathered. Research to develop a new di sability attitude instrument that establishes a total score value indicating an generally positive vs. generally negative attitude would be helpful for measuring a samples overall atti tude toward individuals with disabilities. This would offer useful data where attitude s could be described without having to be compared to other groups or the general popu lation, or confined to pre-post designs. Also, the development of a standardized survey that could examine the education, knowledge, contact, and demographic variable s included in the data form here would lend itself better to rigorous analysis. Finally, a very important area of research that could be done re lated to this would be to administer these attit ude surveys to a group of indivi duals with physical disabilities to examine their own perceptions of disabili ty, how they should be treated, and comfort level in their own interactions with other individuals who ha ve physical disabilities. This would capture data about possi ble internalized stereotypes, the extent to which the participants associate their disability with group identity, and the extent to which they feel different from others. 87

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Implications for Social Work Practice Although cultural diversity in social work has primarily been discussed in the context of race and ethnicity, the NASW (2007) asserted that diversity is taking on a broader meaning and is now more inclusive of the sociocultural expe riences of people of different social classes, re ligious and spiritual beliefs, sexual orientations, ages, and physical and mental abilities. Given this, efforts toward establishing cultural competence in social work practice with individuals with disabilities are valuable and needed to develop professional expectations an d quality care for this population. Overall, the purpose of this kind of attitude research among the helping professions is to obtain data about the potenti al behavior of individuals entering the field or in the field so we have the information needed to promote quali ty care to clients, reduce disenfranchisement of vulnerable populat ions, and contribute to the well-being of all individuals and families at the societal level. The attitudes of participan ts in this study toward individuals with physical disabilities were consistent with those of the general popu lation. These participants are potential future social workers who will be dedicating their careers to helping those in need, and those marginalized by society, including individuals with physical disabilities. It is essential for these future helping prof essionals to have specialized knowledge of populations such as this in or der to provide exceptional, culturally competent services that enable them to overcome the many obstacles facing them in general society. Based on the results from this study, if social work students are not given opportunities to have positive interactions with individuals who have disabilities, their ability to learn more about this population may be limited, and they may experience more 88

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discomfort interacting with this population. The NASW (1996) has id entified individuals with disabilities as a group that should be addressed in discussions of cultural competence. Participants in this study dem ons trated a motivation to help individuals with physical disabilities, but on average reporte d that they only had a bit of knowledge about the life conditions of individuals with physical disabilities. Cultural awareness and competence requires more than motivation and good intentions. ACA standards addressing cultural competence assert that cultu rally skilled counselors are aware of their preconceived notions toward minority groups knowledgeable about the experience of minority groups they are serving, and understand the impact clients experience with stereotyping can have on the counseli ng process (Arredondo et al., 1996). Without measuring social workers level of knowledge and attitudes, we may assume social workers motivation to be in a helping profe ssion means they have favorable perceptions of minorities and the information needed to serve minority populations, but this may not be accurate. This study also raised a question about whether social work education should focus on what makes individuals with physical di sabilities different from other groups, or what makes them similar to other groups. From an emic perspective, what makes groups and individuals within groups different is em phasized. From an etic perspective, what makes groups and individuals similar to one another is emphasized. The results here suggested that higher levels of perceived similarities with individuals who have physical disabilities are significantly related to incr eased comfort in interactions with this population. DeLoach and Greers (1981) resear ch found that if helping professionals focus on the persons disability, they may over-emphasize the impact of disability on 89

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his/her functioning versus other characterist ics or life circumstances, and pathologize behaviors considered normal in nondisabled persons. It is also important to study attitudes toward this population, because societal attitudes influence the help-seeking behaviors of people with disabilitie s, and their ability to mainstream into society (Arokiasamy, Rubin, & Roessler, 2001; Brodwin & Orange, 2002; Chan, Hedl, Parker, Lam, & Yu, 1988; Wang, Thomas, Wong, Chan, Lee, & Lui, 2002; Leung, 1990, 1993; Cook, 1998; DeLoach, 1994; Moore & Feist-Price, 1999; Yuker, 1994, 1995; all as cited in Chen, Brodwin, Cardoso, Chan, 2002). Beail (1983) found that even when participants with disabi lities rejected stereotypes perceived to be held by society, they were inhibited by these stereotypes. According to social identity theory (Taj fel & Turner, 1979), one way to encourage positive treatment toward a group is to highli ght what makes the individuals in those groups similar to one another, i.e. a shar ed set of values, customs, language, and experience. This is particularly difficult when someone is visibly outside of the norm and may arouse uncomfortable feelings. Howeve r, we do not want to lose sight of the importance of cultural history, unique set of strengths and challenges, and other characteristics that make groups distinct in valuable ways. This is true for individuals with disabilities, as well as i ndividuals from different racial, ethnic, religious, age, gender It seems that one challenge facing schools of social work then is to ensure that coursework balances these two perspectives in an effort to promot e positive attitudes and prepare social workers to help clients achieve their goals. 90

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Conclusion The NASW (2007) identified th at a few key indicators of cultural competence are valuing and celebrating differences, demonstr ating comfort with differences between oneself and others, and awareness of ones own cultural values and biases. These characteristics were noted as factors that he lp guard against stereotyping and help enable social workers to advocate for equitable tr eatment and justice for clients. Another indicator of achievement of cultural competence in social work practice according to the NASW (2007) is a heightened consciousness of how clients experience their uniqueness and deal with their differences and similarities within a larger social context (p. 9). This study attempted to contribute data related to these cultural co mpetence indicators by exploring the perceptions of a small group of undergraduate le vel social work students in Central Florida toward individuals with phys ical disabilities, their level of comfort interacting with this population, and their self -perceived level of knowledge about issues affecting individuals with a physical disability. The hypotheses of this study were that pa rticipants who had more prior positive contact with persons with physical disabiliti es; higher self-perceive d levels of knowledge about issues affecting persons with physical disabilities; a nd more social work classes would report more positive attitudes than othe r participants as measured by two different attitude instruments. Each of the instruments have been thought to measure the abcs of attitudes, i.e. the affect, potential behavi or, and cognitions responde nts have related to individuals with physical disabilities. Together they were used to attempt to measure the extent to which respondents view individuals with physical disabilities as similar to nondisabled individuals, the exte nt to which they believe indi viduals with disabilities feel 91

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comfortable with their own disability, how th ese individuals should be treated, how they behave in interactions with this population, and how they comf ortable they feel in these interactions. The results indicated that the more diffe rently respondents perceived individuals with physical disabilities to be, the less co mfortable they were interacting with this population. This seems to support the need fo r social work education to promote the value of cultural and individual differen ces and discussion about how to address discomfort in interactions with individuals perceived as different. However, even promoting a sweeping positive view of a group can possibly do harm. Researchers have suggested that even positive stereotypes may set a group apar t in a way that prompts the perception of the group as different, and a ta rget for negative at titudes (Fichten and Amsel, 1986; Tajfel and Turner, 1979). Ga rland-Thompson (2001) argued that when individuals with physical disabilities are portrayed as inspirational, lofty examples of the human spirit, it promotes stereotyping and s uggests that their life has been tragic. She suggested that a more healthy, realistic view of disability is as a common, yet influential human experience, one that can be challenging, strengthening, and integrated into a full life. Perhaps gaining in-person e xperience with individuals w ho at first appear to be different can provide individuals without disabilities the oppor tunity to learn more about characteristics and values they share, and to be possibly be pleasantly surprised finding that many of these individuals possess self-a cceptance and pride. Results here supported the idea that when individuals with disa bilities are perceived as similar and selfaccepting, comfort with this population is enhanced. In addition, the more frequent and 92

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positive the contact, the more pos itive the attitudes were as m easured in this study. Thus having frequent, positive contact with individuals with physical disabilities may be key factors to be integrated into social work curriculum aimed at sending forth culturally competent social work practitioners. This is consistent with prior research by Yuker (1988), arguably one of the most influential leaders in the fiel d of disability attitude rese arch. He found that individuals with disabilities felt that strangers regarded them as being much more unfortunate than friends did (p. 11). In fact, Hahn (2001) found that individuals with disabilities indicated that they would not choose to be cured of their disability even if this were possible. As noted earlier in this chap ter, it has been suggested th at this kind of knowledge about how clients experience their uniquene ss and deal with th eir differences and similarities in society is a key to cultural competence (NASW, 2007). Results from this study showed that most respondents repor ted having only a bit of knowledge about issues affecting individuals with physical disabilities and did not feel knowledgeable even given that 43% were in th eir last semester of their cour sework. The attitudes of this sample were consistent with the general population, with a motiva tion to help this population and a belief that they should be treated similarly to individuals without disabilities. However, they were not higher than the general population. This demonstrates the needs identified in the NASW (2007) cultural competency guidelines for social workers to promote professional e ducation that advances cultural competency within the profession, co nduct research that can inform and guide practice, and evaluate the effectiveness of our work with culturally diverse client groups. 93

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Social workers should also advocate for programs and institutions that demonstrate cultural competence, pr omote polic ies and practices that demonstrate respect for difference, and safeguard the rights of a nd confirm equity and social justice for all people. If negative attitudes are related to perceived differences, la ck of self acceptance, and discomfort resulting from the latter factors or perceive d lack of knowledge, as seems to have been found in this study, this knowledge could be used towa rd the betterment of other minority groups. It could be utilized to ensure the cultural competence of future social work professionals, promote positive atti tudes toward individuals with disabilities and to eliminate other social ills such as ra cial, ethnic, gender, ag e, sexual identity, and religious intolerance. 94

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APPENDICES 113

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Appendix A: Tables and Figures Table 1. Demographics by University Univ Mean Age Race N = 56 Religious N = 55 Country of Origin N = 55 Caucasian Black Hispanic Christian Other None US Other SEU 20.40 12 3 5 20 0 0 18 1 ST LEO 27.67 10 0 2 8 2 1 11 1 UCF 27.52 15 5 4 19 1 4 22 2 25.20 66% 14% 20% 85% 5% 9% 93% 7% 114

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 2. ATDP and IDP Scores University ATDP Total IDP Total Mean 129.92 56.75 N 24 24 UCF Std. Deviation 18.603 12.598 Mean 120.58 53.67 N 12 12 ST LEO Std. Deviation 18.525 10.039 Mean 113.70 64.50 N 20 20 SEU Std. Deviation 21.241 14.638 Mean 122.13 58.86 N 56 56 Total Std. Deviation 20.544 13.414 115

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 3. Correlation between Attitu de Scores and Contact Variables ATDP Total IDP Total Frequency of Contact Quality of Contact Proximity Pearson Correlatio n 1 -.433** .143 .393** -.083 Sig. (2tailed) .001 .321 .004 .542 ATDP Total N 56 56 50 52 56 Pearson Correlatio n -.433** 1 -.500** -.321* -.093 Sig. (2tailed) .001 .000 .020 .494 IDP Total N 56 56 50 52 56 Pearson Correlatio n .143 -.500** 1 .088 .288* Sig. (2tailed) .321 .000 .545 .043 Frequency of Contact N 50 50 50 50 50 Pearson Correlatio n .393** -.321* .088 1 -.038 Sig. (2tailed) .004 .020 .545 .789 Quality of Contact N 52 52 50 52 52 Pearson Correlatio n -.083 -.093 .288* -.038 1 Sig. (2tailed) .542 .494 .043 .789 Proximity of Relationship N 56 56 50 52 56 **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). 116

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 4. Correlation between Attitu de Scores, Courses, and Knowledge ATDP Total IDP Total # Courses Knowledge Pearson Correlation 1 -.433** -.049 .103 Sig. (2-tailed) .001 .731 .450 ATDP Total N 56 56 51 56 Pearson Correlation -.433** 1 .080 -.437** Sig. (2-tailed) .001 .575 .001 IDP Total N 56 56 51 56 Pearson Correlation -.049 .080 1 -.007 Sig. (2-tailed) .731 .575 .959 # Courses N 51 51 51 51 Pearson Correlation .103 -.437** -.007 1 Sig. (2-tailed) .450 .001 .959 Knowledge N 56 56 51 56 **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). 117

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 5. Summary of Regression Model 1 Frequency of contact and quality of contac t with an individual who has a physical disability with ATDPForm B total att itude score as the dependent variable. Coefficient B Std. Error Std. Coefficient tstatistic Lower 95% CL Upper 95% CL Intercept 76.48 15.56 4.92 45.12 107.77 Frequency of Contact 2.46 3.01 .110 .82 -3.58 8.51 Quality of Contact 15.35 5.38 .382 2.85** 4.52 26.17 Adjusted R2 Fstatistic ( df ) .130 4.65** (2) Notes: N = 50. p < .05, **p < 0.01, one-tailed test. 118

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 1. Regression Model 1 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual Frequency of Contact and Quality of Contact Dependent Variable ATDPForm B Total 119

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 2. Regression Model 1 Distribu tion of Standardized Residuals 120

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 6. Summary of Regression Model 2 Age, self-perceived knowledge, frequency of contact and quality of contact with an individual who has a physical disability with IDP total score as the dependent variable. C oefficient B Std. Error Std. Coefficient tstatistic Lower 95% CL Upper 95% CL Intercept 104.08 10.10 10.30 83.72 124.44 Age -.31 .20 -.22 -1.51 -.72 .10 Self-Perceived Knowledge -2.00 1.79 -.16 -1.12 -5.94 .84 Frequency of Contact -5.13 2.12 -.32 -2.42* -9.40 -.86 Quality of Contact -5.84 3.33 -.21 -1.76 -12.55 .86 Adjusted R2 Fstatistic ( df ) .352 7.51** (4) Notes: N = 49. p < .05, **p < 0.01, one-tailed test. 121

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 3. Regression Model 2 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual Age, Self-Perceived Knowledge, Frequency of Contact, Quality of Contact Dependent VariableIDP Total 122

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 4. Regression Model 2 Distribu tion of Standardized Residuals 123

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 7. Summary of Regression Model 3 Age, self-perceived knowledge, frequency of contact and quality of contact with an individual who has a physical disability, and ATDPForm B total attitude score, with IDP total score as the dependent variable. Coefficient B Std. Error Std. Coefficient tstatistic Lower 95% CL Upper 95% CL Intercept 120.92 11.27 10.73 98.19 143.65 Age -.28 .19 -.20 -1.49 -.67 .10 Self-Perceived Knowledge -2.55 1.68 -.20 -1.52 -5.94 .84 Frequency of Contact -4.13 2.01 -.26 -2.05* -8.18 -.07 Quality of Contact -2.08 3.40 -.075 -.61 -8.93 4.77 ATDP-Form B Total Score -.23 .08 -.33 2.73** -.39 -.06 Adjusted R2 Fstatistic ( df ) .435 8.37** (5) Notes: N = 49. p < .05, **p < 0.01, one-tailed test. 124

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 5. Regression Model 3 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual Age, Self-Perceived Knowledge, Frequency of Contact, Quality of Contact, and ATDP Dependent VariableIDP Total 125

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 6. Regression Model 3 Distribu tion of Standardized Residuals 126

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Appendix A (Continued) Table 8. Summary of Regression Model 4 Age, self-perceived knowledge, frequency of contact, quality of contact with an individual who has a physical disability, and ID P, with ATDPForm B total score as the dependent variable. Coefficient B Std. Error Std. Coefficien t tstatistic Lower 95% CL Upper 95% CL Intercept 167.60 24.42 6.86 118.36 216.84 Age -.09 .33 -.04 -.27 -.75 .58 Self-Perceived Knowledge -3.74 2.87 -.20 -1.30 -9.52 2.05 Frequency of Contact 1.07 3.57 .05 .30 -6.13 8.27 Quality of Contact 12.76 5.44 .31 2.34* 1.78 23.75 ATDPForm B -65 .24 -.44 -2.73** -1.13 -.17 Adjusted R2 Fstatistic ( df ) .246 4.14** (5) Notes : N = 49. p < .05, **p < 0.01, one-tailed test. 127

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 7. Regression Model 4 P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual Age, Self-Perceived Knowledge, Frequency of Contact, Quality of Contact, and IDP Total, Dependent VariableATDP 128

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Appendix A (Continued) Figure 8. Regression Model 4 Distribu tion of Standardized Residuals 129

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Appendix B: Survey Instrument Data Form If youre not sure about an item, go ahead and answer it to the best of your ability. If there are items you would rather not answer, just leave those blank, or write a comment about those items at the bottom of the page. *University: ___________________________________ *Age: ___ *Gender ( Check one ): Female__ Male__ *Race/Ethnicity ( Check one or describe here ): ________________________________ Alaskan Native or American Indian (tribal/n ation affiliation)__ African American/Black__ Asian or Pacific Islander__ Hispanic/Lati no__ White, not of Hispanic/Latino origin__ Religious Affiliation (Describe he re): _______________ ______________________ *Country of Origin: _____________________________________ *How many courses have you taken in your social work major? ______ If you have already started your social work field placement, what would best describe the primary population and field are you interning with? ( Circle as many as apply ) Children/Adolescents Mental Health Inpatient Families Social Skills Outpatient Adults Parenting Skills Jail Seniors (65 yrs. +) Domestic Violence Hospital Developmental Disabilities Sexual Abuse Community Physical/Sensory/Learning Disabilities Economic Self-Sufficiency In-home Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Foster Care School Relative/Non-relative caregivers Kinship Care Shelter Refugees/Victims of Torture Alcohol/Substance Abuse Police Dept. Homeless Victim Advocacy State Agency Sex Offenders HealthMedical Group Home Given the following definitions: Disability- a condition that substantially limits physical activities such as climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, carrying or walking (Census Bureau, 2003). Direct contactInteraction in-person with an individual who has a physical disability 1. Please rate your general knowledge of th e conditions and life circumstances of individuals with a physical disability (as defi ned above) by circling the appropriate number. 130

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Appendix B (Continued) No Knowledge Extensive Knowledge 1 2 3 4 5 6 -If you indicated that you have knowledge in this area, where did you gain this knowledge? (Circle all that apply) *Social work education *Other academic education ( Describe ) _____ *Media (newspaper, tv, radio) *Research and/or Literature *Personal experience: (Check all that apply ) Self__ or Other__ *Volunteer experience *Other __________________________ 2. Have you ever had direct contact with an indi vidual or individuals with a physical disability? Yes__ No__ If yes to #2, answer Questions #3-6 3. Approximately how many individuals with a physical disability have you had direct contact with? ____ 4. How would you characterize your relationship with this individual(s)? (Circle one for each individual with a disability you have had contact with) a. Spouse b. Child c. Sibling d. Relative ( Describe ) ___________ e. Stranger f. Client g. Acquaintance h. Supervisor/Teacher i. Fellow Student j. Family Friend k. Personal Friend l. Co-worker m. Other (describe) _________________________________________________ 5. Approximately how often did you have direct contact with this individual(s)? (For each individual, write the corresponding relationship letter( s) from above in the space next to the correct answer) Rarely _______ Occasionally _______ Often _______ Very Often ______ 131

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Appendix B (Continued) 6. Overall, what was the experien ce with this individual(s) like? ( For each individual, write the corresponding relationship letter(s) in the space next to the correct answer below) Negative _______ Neutral _______ Positive _______ 132

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Appendix B (Continued) Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale (Form B) Directions: Mark each statement in the left margin according to how mu ch you agree or disagree with it. Please mark every one. Write +1, +2, +3; or -1, -2, -3; depending on how you feel in each case. If youre not sure about an ite m, go ahead and answer it to the best of your ability. If there are items y ou would rather not answer, just leave those blank, or write a comment about those items at the bottom of the page. A = -3 I disagree very much B = -2 I disagree pretty much C = -1 I disagree a little D = +1 I agree a little E = +2 I agree pretty much F = +3 I agree very much ___ 1. Disabled people are usually friendly. ___ 2. People who are disabled should not have to pay income tax. ___ 3. Disabled people are no more emotional than other people. ___ 4. Disabled people can have a normal social life. ___ 5. Most disabled persons ha ve a chip on their shoulder. ___ 6. Disabled workers can be as successful as other workers. ___ 7. Very few disabled persons ar e ashamed of their disabilities. ___ 8. Most people feel uncomfortable when they associate with disabled people. ___ 9. Disabled people show less enthusiasm than non-disabled people. ___ 10. Disabled persons do not become upset any more easily than non-disabled people. ___ 11. Disabled people are often less aggressive than normal people. ___ 12. Most disabled persons ge t married and have children. ___ 13. Most disabled persons do not worry anymore than anyone else. 133

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134 Appendix B (Continued) ___ 14. Disabled employers should not be allowed to fire disabled employees. ___ 15. Disabled people are not as happy as non-disabled ones. ___ 16. Severely disabled people are harder to get along with than those with minor disabilities. ___ 17. Most disabled people expect special treatment. ___ 18. Disabled persons should not expect to lead normal lives. ___ 19. Most disabled persons te nd to get discouraged easily. ___ 20. The worst thing that could happen to a person would be for him to be severely injured. ___ 21. Disabled children should not have to compete with non-disabled children. ___ 22. Most disabled people do not feel sorry for themselves. ___ 23. Most disabled people prefer to work with other disabled people. ___ 24. Most severely disabled people are not as ambitious as physically normal persons. ___ 25. Disabled people are not as self-confident as physically normal persons. ___ 26. Most disabled persons dont want more affection and praise than other people. ___ 27. It would be best if a physically disa bled person would marry another disabled person. ___ 28. Most disabled people do not need special attention. ___ 29. Disabled persons want sympathy more than other people. ___ 30. Most physically disabled persons ha ve different personalities than normal persons. Reprinted with permission from Hofstra University, Hempstead: NY. Survey from Yuker, H.E., Block, J.R., & Campbell, W.J. (1962). Disability types and behavior (Human Resources Study No. 6). Albertson, NY: Human Resources Center.

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Listed below are a number of statements th at are said to describe what people think about different disabled people. Usually, what we think about individuals depends on how well we know them. However, we would like to know what you think in general Please read each statement carefully and circle what response best describes how you usually feel. If youre not sure about an item, go ahead and answer it to the best of your ability. If there are items you would rather not answer, just leave those blank, or write a comment about those items at the bo ttom of the page. Agree very much Agree pretty much Agree a little Disa gree a little Disagree pret ty much Disagree very much -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 1. It is rewarding when I am able to help -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 2. It hurts me when they want to do something and cant -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 3. I feel frustrated because I dont know how to help -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 4. Contact with a disabled person reminds me of my -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 own vulnerability 5. I wonder how I would feel if I had this disability -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 6. I feel ignorant about disable people -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 7. I am grateful that I do not have such a burden -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 8. I try to act normally and ignore the disability. -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 9. I feel uncomfortable and find it hard to relax -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 10. I am aware of the problems that disabled -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 People face 11. I cant help staring at them -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 12. I feel unsure because I dont know how to -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 behave 13. I admire their ability to cope -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 14. I dont pity them -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 15. After frequent contact, I find I just notice the person not the disability -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 16. I feel overwhelmed with discomfort about my -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 lack of disability 17. I am afraid to look at the person straight in the face -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 18. I tend to make contacts only brief and finish them -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 as quickly as possible -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 19. I feel better with disabled people after I have -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 discussed their disability with them 20. I dread the thought that I could eventually end -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 up like them Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Taylor & Francis Group, London: UK. Survey from Gething, L. & Wheeler, B. (1992). The Interaction with Disabled Persons scale: A ne w Australian instrument to measure attitudes toward people with disabilities. Australian Journal of Psychology, 44 (22) 75-82. Appendix B (Continued) Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale 135

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Appendix C: Consent Form Informed Consent to Participate in Research Information to Consi der Before Taking Part in this Research Study Researchers at the University of Sout h Florida (USF), Univ ersity of Central Florida, Southeas tern University, and Saint Leo University study many topics. To do this, we need the help of people who ag ree to take part in a research study. This form tells you about this research study. We are asking you to consider take part in a research study that is called: Evaluating Social Work Students Atti tudes Toward Physical Disability. The person who is in charge of this research study is Rachael Haskell, LCSW of the University of South Florida, School of Social Work. This person is called the Principal Investigator. However, other re search staff may be involved and can act on behalf of the person in charge. Because the researcher is a graduate student doing this research for dissertation purpos es, she is being guided by Dr. Michael Rank, Doctoral Dissertation Committee Chai rperson at the University of South Florida, Tampa. The person explaining the research to you is someone other than the Principal Investigator. In this study, your instruct or will be distributin g and collecting the research material, but will not have knowledge of your responses or whether you have decided to participate. Your instru ctor has been asked to describe this research and related instru ctions to your class, and to collect the anonymous research material in sealed envelopes. If you decide to participat e, the research will be done at the classroom already assigned for this social work course. Howe ver, you may also decide to review the consent form at home. If you then choose to participate, you may complete the research material at home and bring to your instructor for in clusion in the study the following week. 136

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Appendix C (Continued) Purpose of the study The purpose of this study is to learn more about the way undergraduate social work students view individuals with physical disabilities and perceive interactions with this population. This study is bei ng conducted for a social work doctoral dissertation. It will include a bout 145 people. You have be en asked to take part in this research study because you are an unde rgradu ate social work student in a social work class at one of three social work programs possibly participating in this study. You must be an undergraduate social work major and 18 years of age or older to be included in the research study. Study Procedures If you take part in this study, you will be asked to complete two brief surveys and a data form taking approximately 40 minutes total. The data form asks for sociodemographic information and briefl y about any experience or knowledge you have related to individuals with physical disabilities One of the surveys asks you to provide your level of agreement w ith 30 items on a six point scale. The other survey asks you to provide your level of agreement with 20 items on the same six point scale. Answers on both surv eys range from I agree very much to I disagree very much, with you selecting the answer that best matches your response to the item. If there is any it em you do not wish to answer, you can leave it blank or write a comment about that it em on the bottom of the page. If have already participated in the study, dont complete the research material again. Time required: If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete the surveys once, during class time, in your normally assigned classroom. The surveys and data form have been estimated to take 40 minutes total to complete. However, you will have 45 minutes of class time now to consider whether you would like to participate, and to complete the material if you choose. Your instructor will let you know at 40 minutes that you have 5 more minutes to finish with the material. Location: You will be asked if you would like to participate in this study in the classroom already assigned for this so cial work course. If you decide to participate, you will be asked to complete the research material from the same classroom. However, you may also complete the research material at home and bring to your instructor in a sealed envelope for inclusion in the study the following week. 137

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Appendix C (Continued) Audio or video taping: This study does not include a ny audio or video taping. Alternatives You have the alternative to choose not to participate in this research study. You should take part in this study only because you want to. There is no penalty for not taki ng part, and you will not lose any benefits. You have the right to stop at any time. If you decide not to particip ate, you may choose to wait while others review the research material or may choos e to use this part of class time to do academic work. Benefits The only possible direct bene fit to you as a research pa rticipant is that you may learn more about how resear ch is conducted. In addition, your participation could contribute to societys and the social work professi ons understanding of social work students perceptions about indi viduals with physical disabilities. Risks or Discomfort This research is considered to be mi nimal risk. That means that the risks associated with this study are the same as what you face every day. There are no known additional risks to those who take part in this study. If you choose to participate, your responses will remain anonymous. You will not be asked for your name on any of the research material. You will be asked to seal your research material in an envelope before giving it to your instructor, so your instructor will not be aware of any of your responses, or whether you have even chosen to participate. Regardless of your responses and whether you participate or not, there will be no penalty. In addition, you do not have to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable. If you feel uncomfortable answering questions about your feelings and/or thoughts about in dividuals with phys ical disabilities, leave those questions blank, or write at the bottom of the page your comments about those questions. Compensation You will not receive compensation, payment or extra credit for taking part in this study. There will be no penalty and no requirement to ask for an alternative assignment. Your student status and gr ade will not be affected whether you choose to participate or not. 138

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Appendix C (Continued) Confidentiality If you decide to participate, your res ponses will remain anonymous. You will not be asked to provide your name at any time in this study. We will make every effort to prevent anyone from knowing that you gave us information, or what that information is. If we publish what we l earned from this study, your data will be combined with other participants. We will not publish anything that would let people know who you are. Your name will not be known or used in any report, so people will not know how you answered or what you did. No one, not even members of the research team, will know that the survey information you gave came from you. However, certain people may need to s ee the study data. The records will be anonymous, so anyone who looks at your records will not know your identity. The only people who will be allowed to see these records are: The research team, including the Princi pal Investigator, and the Principal Investigators dissertation committee. Certain government and university people who need to know more about the study. For example, individuals who provi de oversight on this study may need to look at your records. This is done to make sure that we are doing the study in the right way. They also need to make sure that we are protec ting your rights and your safety.) These include: o the University of South Florida Institu tional Review Board (IRB) and the staff that work for the IRB. Other individua ls who work for USF that provide other kinds of oversight may also need to look at your records. o the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Voluntary Participation / Withdrawal You should only take part in this study if you want to volunteer. You should not feel that there is any pressu re to take part in the st udy, to please your instructor, the investigator or the research staff. You are free to par ticipate in this research or withdraw at any time. There will be no penalty or loss of benefits you are entitled to receive if you stop taking part in this study. Your decision to participate or not to participate will not affect your student st atus, course grade, or education in any way. If you decide to withdraw from pa rticipation, stop resp onding to research items. 139

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140 Appendix C (Continued) Questions, concerns, or complaints If you have any questions, concerns or co mplaints, or experience an unanticipated problem related to the res earch, call Principal Investigator, Rachael Haskell, Graduate Student, Social Work Doctoral Program, College of Arts and Sciences, (727) 698-2543 or Dr. Michael Rank, Faculty Supervisor, Doctoral Dissertation Chairperson, University of South Flor ida School of Social Work, at (813) 9741374, or by email at rhaskell@cas.usf.edu If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this study, general questions, or have complaints, concerns or issues you want to discuss with someone outside the resear ch, call the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at (813) 9749343. You may also contact the University of Central Florid as Institutional Review Board (IRB) at telephone (407) 823-2901, or email irb@mail.ucf.edu. Consent to Take Part in this Research Study It is up to you to decide whether you want to take part in this study. If you do not want to take part in this study, do not comp lete the survey material. If you want to take part, complete the data form and two surveys. Completing the surveys implies your consent to participate in this study. Do not complete the research material if you ar e not 18 years or older, or are not an undergraduate social work major. How to return this consen t form to the researcher: Please return this consent form and the rest of the research material sealed in the envelope provided before turning it in, regardless of whether you have d ecided to take part or not. Take the second copy of the informed consent form fo r your records. Y our instructor will collect the sealed envelopes and submit them to the researcher immediately after class.

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Appendix D: Institutional Approval Letter 141

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About the Author Rachael A. Haskell is a Licensed Clini cal Social Worker in Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Maste rs Degree in Social Work from Rhode Island College. She has many years of experi ence as a therapist helping survivors of trauma and their families, clinical program supervisor, adjunct social work instructor, and child advocate. She has presented at severa l conferences focused on abuse prevention and alternative therapy approaches in the Tampa Bay community, and as an expert related to sexual abuse cases in the media and court. Ms. Haskell also has experience providi ng disability awareness workshops to helping professionals, in part based on her perspective as a woman who has been in a wheelchair since childhood. She is a self-published author of a childrens book series about the adventures of her puppy/ service dog in training finding strength in overcoming challenges.


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ABSTRACT: Given the social work profession's commitment to serving individuals with disabilities and cultural competence, the promotion of favorable attitudes toward persons with disabilities within social work education is critical. This study examined the question: "what are the attitudes of undergraduate social work students at three universities toward individuals with physical disabilities as measured by responses on the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale Form B (ATDP-Form B; Yuker et al., 1960, 1966) and Interactions with Disabled Persons Scale (Gething, 1991)?" It explored the following hypotheses, that participants who: 1) have had prior positive contact with persons with physical disabilities; 2) have higher perceived levels of knowledge about issues affecting persons with physical disabilities; and 3) have had more social work classes will respond with more positive attitudes than other participants. Sociodemographic data about gender, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, and university affiliation was also collected to measure the possible impact of these characteristics on student attitudes. The primary aim is to learn more about the way undergraduate social work students generally view individuals with physical disabilities and feel about interactions with this population.
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