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The Effects of Gender and Type of Disability on the Attitudes of Children Toward Their Peers with Physical Disabilities

Rebecca Woodard


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of gender and type of physical disability on the attitudes of kindergarten, first, second, and third grade elementary school children toward participating in recreational activities with peers who have physical disabilities. Eighteen females and 15 males volunteered to participate. Subjects were presented stimulus drawings of a peer who either used a wheelchair, had an arm amputated, or did not possess a visible physical disability. Subjects then marked whether they felt "really happy," "did not care," or "really sad" about engaging in recreational activities with each peer on a five-item attitude questionnaire. ANOVA was conducted to determine if there were any significant effects for gender and condition, as well as to determine whether any significant interactions between gender and condition were present. Subjects were significantly (p < 0.05) more positive about going camping with an individual in a wheelchair then with a peer with an arm amputated or a peer without a physical disability. Males were found to be significantly (p < 0.05) more positive than females about attending a movie and going camping with a peer with a physical disability.


Attitudes, Gender, Mainstreaming, Therapeutic Recreation, Community Recreation

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