Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Social Work

Major Professor

Michael Rank, Ph.D.

Keywords

Disability, Attitudes, Social workers, Interactions, Contact

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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