Background and Purpose: There is research documenting negative attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, but few studies from the perspective of the wheelchair user. Research on perceived attitudes and discrimination has been conducted in the workplace and store environment, but not the restaurant setting. Purpose: develop and initiate validation of a novel instrument for measuring the perception of attitudes and discrimination by restaurant personnel toward individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who are wheelchair users in a restaurant setting; investigate the perception of attitudes and discrimination by restaurant personnel toward individuals with a SCI who are wheelchair users; investigate the relationship between perception of attitudes and discrimination and age, gender, race/ethnicity, level of injury, time since onset, and quality of life (QOL). Methods: A cross-sectional, mixed methods design. Participants had a SCI, were 18 years old or older, at least 1 year post-SCI, and used a wheelchair when in a restaurant. Data regarding perception of attitudes and discrimination were obtained with a novel questionnaire; the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LiSat-9) measured QOL. Results: 86 participants: 41 male (47.7%); mean (SD) age 46.5 (13.0) years; White (87.2%). Internal consistency of the attitudes and discrimination measure, Cronbach’s α = .87. The mean item response scale score of the perception of attitudes and discrimination questionnaire was 2.78 (0.55). Correlation and multiple regression analyses revealed no relationship between age, gender, race, level of injury, time since onset of injury, and the mean item response score of the attitudes and discrimination measure. Multiple regression analyses were conducted, controlling for age, gender, and race to identify variables associated with the LiSat-9. Entering the variables of level of injury, time since onset, and the mean item response score of the attitudes and discrimination measure resulted in a Multiple R2 = .23; F = 3.38, p = .01. Content analysis of qualitative data revealed problems of physical access of restaurants and negative attitudes of restaurant employees. Conclusions: Individuals with SCI who are wheelchair users perceive physical and attitudinal barriers when in a restaurant. Improvements in physical design and research and training aimed to reduce attitudinal barriers in restaurants are needed.
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social research, Physical therapy, Behavioral psychology, Social psychology|
|Keywords:||Accessibility, Persons with disabilities, Quality of life, Social discrimination, Spinal cord injury|
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