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Opinions of non-handicapped children about handicapped children--results of a survey in 2nd grade of elementary school

Opinions of non-handicapped children about handicapped children--results of a survey in 2nd grade of elementary school

Die Rehabilitation 32(4): 250-259

It is pointed out in the initial theoretical considerations that comparatively few studies can be found in the pertinent literature that address the issue of younger non-disabled children's attitudes and behaviour toward children with physical disablement. The present study had comprised 23 second-year primary school-children (8 male, 15 female), age 7.6 to 8.6, from a community with a population of approx. 6000. At the time of our investigation, the subject of "disability" had not been explicitly dealt with at school, and the children moreover reported that they had not previously come into contact with disabled children either. The interviews were administered individually, using an interviewing structure of 19 questions pertaining to 7 different topics. Along with the findings for these 7 areas, the following can be summarized: The findings permit the conclusion that the majority of the children interviewed do not encounter disabled children in terms of an already manifest prejudiced behaviour. Restrictive opinions primarily have to do with functional limitations assumed to affect disabled children's abilities in play, are however unrelated to dimensions of the personality or a social behaviour that could entail rejection of the disabled child. On the other hand it was found that non-disabled children do anticipate the negative views held by others in their environment toward children with disabilities.

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Accession: 046869354

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PMID: 8310177

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