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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Legislating Social Inclusion: Social Interaction and Perceptions of Middle Level Students Toward Those with Disabilities
by Whitehead, Deidre NeCol, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, 2020, 110; 28261550
Abstract (Summary)

Recognition of the need for students with disabilities to receive free and appropriate education was brought to the forefront with the passage of Public Law 93 – 112, Rehabilitation Act in 1973. In 1975 Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was enacted requiring all schools to develop and provide a free, appropriate public education for all children and youth with disabilities in the regular classroom to ensure an appropriate education. However, mandating inclusion in classrooms does not ensure social interaction, which is an integral part of learning, especially for early adolescents. 

This dissertation uses the Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes Towards Children with Handicaps (CATCH) 36-item scale to explore the propensity of early adolescent students to interact with students with a disability. With the three component scores (affective, behavioral and cognitive) of CATCH as dependent variables, three independent variables (biological sex, race, and having a friend with a disability) were investigated for the effects on early adolescents’ inclination to socially interact with children with a disability. A convenience sample of sixty-six sixth-grade students from two Northwest Arkansas schools participated in the study. The results indicated both biological sex (females and males) and whether students have friends with disabilities did not show significant differences on the dependent measures. However, white students had significantly higher affect, behavioral, and cognitive inclusive perceptions toward students with disabilities in comparison with non-White students. The results suggest race could be a factor in studying nondisabled students’ perceptions toward social inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kerr, Brinck
Commitee: Lo, Wen-Juo, Williams , Brent T.
School: University of Arkansas
Department: Public Policy
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Disability studies, Middle School education, Ethnic studies, Educational administration, Educational leadership, Education Policy, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Middle-level students, Perceptions, Socialization, Students with disabilities
Publication Number: 28261550
ISBN: 9798569969524
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