Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship Between Attitudes and Perspectives of American Sign Language University Students Towards Deaf People
by Brightman, Beth Lilessie Cagle, Ph.D., University of South Florida, 2013, 303; 3605652
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to analyze attitudes and perspectives of university students towards D/deafness before and after studying American Sign Language, ASL, and to determine if any relationship between them exists. A double pre-test quasiexperiment design was used with participants who were students enrolled in a basic ASL course at a metropolitan university.Participants were in either a “control” or “treatment” group. There were 3 instruments used for this study: an attitude scale, a perspective scale, and a control group questionnaire. The control group survey purpose was to decrease chances of pre-sensitization. The attitude survey served to score student opinions about capabilities of Deaf Adults. Scores ranged from negative to positive. The perspective survey was used to reflect student views of D/deafness ranging from medical to cultural. There were 228 ASL I students requested to participate. Of the 228, there were 110 respondents. The control group had n=52 and the treatment group had n=58. Of the 110 pre-survey participants, 71 responded to the post-survey. A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was run to determine any relationship between attitudes and perspectives of students before and after they studied ASL. Aninverse relationship between attitudes and perspectives was found. Before the students studied ASL, the treatment group attitude and perspective r=-.508 (n=58, p<.01). After participants studied one course of ASL the relationship was r=-.537 (n=71, p=<.01). As attitude score values increased to a negativeopinion about capabilities of Deaf adults,perspective scores decreased towards a medical view. While scores that leaned lower on the attitude scale were deemed more positive, they corresponded with higher score values on the perspective scale indicating a cultural view of D/deafness. There were 6 of the 71 post-survey respondents who had matching coded pre and post-survey response forms. A dependent t test was run to analyze if attitude or perspective scores changed for university students after studying ASL. It was determined one course of ASL does not significantly change attitudes or perspectives about and/or D/deafness ( p=>.05). A PPMCC was conducted to determine if a relationship between attitudes and perspectives of the six matched participants existed. Although not significant at the α<.05 level, the matched participants had an inverse relationship between attitudes and perspectives before studying ASL (n=6, r=-.660, p>.05). After studying ASL the matched participants had a significant inverse correlation between attitudes and perspectives towards D/deaf people (n=6, r =-.922, p<.01). In conclusion there is a relationship between attitudes of university students about capabilities of D/deaf adults and their medical or cultural perspective of D/deafness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: James, Waynne B.
Commitee: Burns, Rebecca, Closson, Rosemary, Young, III, William H.
School: University of South Florida
Department: Adult, Career and Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Language
Keywords: Adult education, Asl, Deaf culture, Transformative learning
Publication Number: 3605652
ISBN: 978-1-303-62372-1
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