AN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY OF CHILDREN'S ATTITUDES TOWARD DISABILITY
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In this epidemiological study the authors recorded the attitudes of children in Hamilton, Ontario, to physically disabled and mentally handicapped children. Univariate analyses confirmed the importance of female gender, friendship and contact with handicapped persons as determinants of more accepting attitudes. Type of disability and the presence or absence of disabled children in respondents' schools were not found to influence attitudes in a systematic manner. Correlations between attitudes and children's self-esteem or sociometric ratings were not significant, nor were parent-child attitude correlations. Maternal language of origin was found to influence children's attitudes, in favour of children of English-speaking mothers. These results are discussed with reference to their practical applications by community and educational systems seeking to foster integration of disabled children.
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