A survey of faculty attitudes: post-secondary students with psychiatric vs. non-psychiatric disabilities

Keefe, Mary (2007) A survey of faculty attitudes: post-secondary students with psychiatric vs. non-psychiatric disabilities. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Research shows that students with psychiatric disabilities attending postsecondary institutions are less likely to seek supports using the office of disability services than are students with other disabilities. One of the reasons that students give for not disclosing their disabilities is a belief that they will face stigmatizing attitudes as a result of such disclosure. While it is known that negative attitudes toward psychiatric disabilities exist within the general population, there is a paucity of research that profiles attitudes toward post-secondary students who have psychiatric disabilities, particularly in contrast to attitudes toward post-secondary students with other disabilities. The present study therefore investigated the attitudes of faculty regarding post-secondary students with psychiatric and other disabilities using an internet-based quantitative survey method. Results confirmed previous findings that attitudes toward non-visible disabilities are less positive than they are toward visible disabilities, and that within the non-visible category, attitudes toward psychiatric disabilities are more negative than they are toward learning disabilities. Attitudes were improved by providing faculty members with either a term identifying a particular type of disability or detailed disability information, suggesting that disclosure can reduce the effects of stigmatization. Several characteristics that were correlated with disability attitudes in previous studies were investigated as well. Of these, gender and access to disability information exerted the strongest influence on disability attitudes. Suggestions are given for combating the identified issues via disability training for faculty members.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10775
Item ID: 10775
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 112-123).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: College teachers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes; Mentally ill--Newfoundland and Labrador--Social conditions.

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