Creating a positive attitude : a critical analysis of adolescent's attitude towards people with disabilities

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Black, Emma
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The main aim of this study was to investigate whether providing positive, indirect experiences such as, guided discussions and simulation activities will alter any pre-existing negative attitudes toward disabilities. It also investigated whether knowing someone with a disability produced a more positive attitude compared to those who do not know someone, whether negative attitudes existed more in boys than girls, and whether a distinction existed between attitudes toward learning disabilities and physical disabilities. The design of this experiment was based upon a longitudinal correlation design using questionnaires. These were issued to sixty participants. It was a mixed design, the between subjects factor being the intervention; the within subjects factor being the time of testing (pre and post-tests). The results showed that the intervention worked, increasing the participant's attitudes positively. A significant result was also found in relation to knowing someone with a disability. There was no significant result found between genders and disability preferences. Results from this study provide positive support for the integration of disability awareness programmes into the Irish educational system in order to create positive attitudes towards people with disabilities.