Wiseman, Roxanne Elizabeth (2000) Mapping the language of intellectual disability. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The terminology used to represent individuals with a lower than average intellectual capacity varies considerably amongst individuals, institutions, and countries. Some terms used in recent years are intellectual disability, mental retardation, mental handicap, and learning disability. The present study used the technique of multidimensional scaling (MDS) to map the constructs underlying the terminology used by professionals working in adapted physical activity. A questionnaire was developed to measure respondents' perceptions of the degree of similarity between pairs of terms used to describe the target population. The similarity matrix thus generated was used as the input for MDS that generated n-dimensional maps of the underlying constructs. The questionnaire was distributed, and responses collected, via the Internet and postal services. The survey participants were members of the International Federation for Adapted Physical Activity and guest reviewers and contributing authors for the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. The results indicated that there were significant differences between the terminology used in different English speaking countries. The construct maps presented by the MDS mapping are subject to several alternate interpretations. The interpretations discussed were (a) advocacy (self-named) terminology versus medical (clinically named) terminology, (b) visual stigmatization versus non-visual stigmatization, and (c) variations of terminology used in different countries. Implications for researchers and practitioners were also discussed.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 69-75.|
|Department(s):||Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Physical Education|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||People with mental disabilities--Terminology|
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