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- THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CULTURAL ORIENTATION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
- Rafajko, Sean I.
- 2016, 2016-07
Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) face a number of disparities in their daily lives. Many of these disparities are the result of...
Show moreIndividuals 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.
M.S. in Psychology, July 2016
- Sense of Community and Virtual Community Among People with Autism Spectrum Conditions
- Rafajko, Sean I
Individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) face poorer quality of life (QOL) and psychological well-being. Sense of community (SOC) has...
Show moreIndividuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) face poorer quality of life (QOL) and psychological well-being. Sense of community (SOC) has been studied in the general population as well as in other disability populations and found to be associated with increased QOL outcomes. However, SOC has never been examined quantitatively in the ASC population. Additionally, a number of communities exist online, and there has been recent research showing that people may feel sense of virtual community (SOVC), which may be particularly important to the ASC population, as internet use is higher in the population, and people with ASC report positive experiences with online communication and relationships. The purpose of this study was to examine SOC and SOVC in the ASC population. A sample of 60 participants with ASC completed an online survey about their communities, SOC, SOVC, QOL, and psychological distress, and their results were compared with a sample of 60 general population participants (N = 120). Results indicated that people with ASC reported participating in a greater number of smaller relational communities compared to the general population sample. There were no significant differences between the ASC and general population samples on levels of SOC or SOVC, suggesting that the differential relationship of the ASC group with their communities does not reduce the experience of SOC. SOC significantly contributed to QOL but not psychological distress. Results indicated that the magnitude of the relationship between SOC and SOVC on QOL was not different between those with ASC and those in the comparisons sample. Findings from this study help frame the different ways in which people with ASC interact with their communities and inform individual and community-level interventions.