THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CULTURAL ORIENTATION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
RAFAJKO, SEAN I.
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Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) face a number of disparities in their daily lives. Many of these disparities are the result of interactions with people in their environment, including the general public. The behaviors of the general public toward people with ID are linked to the attitudes that they hold. Thus, it is essential to understand what influences these attitudes. Although there has been some research conducted examining how factors such as demographics and level of contact with individuals with ID affect attitudes, there has been only very limited research specifically investigating the impact of cultural factors on attitudes toward individuals with ID. The purpose of this study was to examine the unique contribution of cultural orientation variables as predictors of individuals’ attitudes toward ID using hierarchical regression analyses. Results revealed that for all examined domains of attitudes, cultural orientation accounted for a significant portion of the variance in attitudes toward ID. More specifically, it was found that greater vertical-individualist orientation was associated with more negative attitude towards ID on all domains, while other cultural orientations (horizontal-collectivist, horizontal-individualist, and vertical-collectivist), when significant, were associated with more positive attitudes toward ID. Findings from this study suggest that culture is a relevant area to explore in future research on attitudes toward ID. Further research is needed to understand how these relationships play out especially for specific groups, such as caregivers and clinicians, in order to better understand how cultural orientation can more directly affect the lives of individuals with ID.