Date of Award

5-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Crimando, William

Abstract

Cultural differences in disability attitudes significantly impact perceptions of and interactions with persons with disabilities. This study explored the multidimensional disability attitudes of the international college student’s towards persons with disabilities and their attitudes toward educational accommodations. The researcher also examined the relationship between these variables and the following demographic factors: sex, age, country of origin, religion, college major, and level of college study. The study is a cross-sectional survey design. The effective sample of the study was 211 enrolled undergraduate and graduate international students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. These scales were used for data collection: (a) Multidimensional Attitudes Scale toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS), (b) General Attitudes toward College Educational Accommodation; (c) Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale; and (d) a demographic questionnaire. In this study, descriptive analyses and a multiple regression analysis computed to analyze all test measures and demographic variables. The results of this study provide information about the international student’s general attitude towards disability as well as the extent in which demographic variables may shape attitudes. In the first hypothesis only contact with person with disability was a significant predictor of the attitudes F1, 174 = 22.324, p < .001, R2 = .114. In the second hypothesis contact with person with disability and attitudes predicted general attitudes towards accommodation; F2, 173 = 7.101, p = .006, R2 = .076. All demographic factors dropped out of the models. A series of exploratory analyses was computed uncovered some potential demographic predictors of attitudes towards accommodation. This information may assist faculty and administrators to provide disability education interventions that may increase positive attitudes toward disability and people with disabilities. This may consequently enhance positive interactions of international students with persons with disabilities within and outside the university environment.

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