Attitudes of disabled people toward other disabled people and impairment groups

Deal, Mark (2006). Attitudes of disabled people toward other disabled people and impairment groups. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University, London)

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This research set-out to: a) investigate attitudes of disabled people (adults) toward other disabled people; and, b) attitudes of disabled people toward different impairment groups. Comparative data from a non-disabled sample was also collected. Two new attitude rating scales were developed for this research: the General Attitude Scale Toward Disabled People (GASTDP) and the Attitude Toward Impairment Scale (A TIS). Both scales achieved acceptable levels of internal and external reliability.

Positive attitudes toward disabled people were found from both the disabled (M = 41.08; n = 193) and non-disabled samples (M = 39.29; n = 120). However, a hierarchy of impairment also appears to exist, with the disabled sample producing a rank ordering of most accepted to least of Deaf, Arthritis, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, HIV/AIDS, Down's Syndrome and Schizophrenia. The nondisabled sample rank ordering was the same for five of the seven impairment groups, with only Cerebral Palsy and HIV / AIDS being placed in reverse order.

The GASTDP contains two sub-scales (Subtle and Blatant Prejudice subscales). Statistically significant results between the two sub-scales were found for both the disabled and non-disabled samples, suggesting people tend to hold subtle forms of prejudice toward disabled people. The discussion therefore utilises the term aversive disablism, based on aversive racism. This theory argues that whilst people may be reluctant to express negative attitudes toward disabled people, they may also support policies that are disablist, i.e. segregated housing.

The contact hypothesis, whereby contact with members of a minority group influence attitudes, was not supported by the data.

This thesis recommends further research into subtle forms of prejudice toward disabled people from an in-group perspective and attitudes toward different impairment groups.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Research Unit

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