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Title: The Attitudes of Belgian Adolescents towards Peers with Disabilities
Authors: Bossaert, Goele ×
Colpin, Hilde
Pijl, Sip Jan
Petry, Katja #
Issue Date: 12-Feb-2011
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Series Title: Research in Developmental Disabilities vol:32 issue:2 pages:504-509
Abstract: This study aimed to explore Belgian adolescents' attitudes towards peers with disabilities
and to explore factors associated with these attitudes. Based on the theory of persuasive
communication, this study focused on receiver variables (the "whom"), characteristics of students with
disabilities ("concerning who") and channel ("how"). An online survey was created and published on
several popular websites for youngsters. Attitudes were assessed by means of the CATCH
questionnaire among 167 adolescents between 11 and 20 years old Univariate and multivariate
regression analyses were conducted. Belgian adolescents had fairly tolerant attitudes towards peers
with disabilities. Factors associated with more positive attitudes were being female, and viewing a
video introduction of a peer with a disability before assessing attitudes. Factors such as having a
parent, sibling or good friend with a disability and frequent contact with persons with disabilities did
not remain significant in the overall model. The way in which students with disabilities are presented
to their peers is very important. Further research is needed among larger samples, including more
diverse variables, concerning the former mentioned categories, but also concerning the source (the
"who") and message (the "what").
ISSN: 0891-4222
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Parenting and Special Education
School Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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