ERIC Number: ED340516
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Changing Preschoolers' Attitudes toward Children with Disabilities.
Thios, Samuel J.; Foster, Sally B.
This study investigated the impact of a program called "New Friends: Mainstreaming Activities To Help Young Children Understand and Accept Individual Differences" in teaching preschool children about similarities, differences, and disabilities, and assessed its effectiveness in improving nondisabled children's attitudes toward, and interactions with, children with disabilities. A treatment group and a control group were assessed before and after the New Friends intervention program. A cognitive measure, an affective measure, and an observational coding scheme were used. The New Friends program, which uses life-sized dolls with disabilities to introduce important concepts about specific disabling conditions, was conducted three times a week for a 3-week period. The four units presented included an introductory unit on differences and similarities, and units on hearing impairments, and physical and learning impairments. Results indicated that exposure to the New Friends program led to positive changes in attitudes and to increased knowledge of disabilities. However, no behavioral changes in social interaction patterns were observed. It is concluded that New Friends appears to provide a useful curriculum for use in conjunction with other procedures designed to enhance the acceptance of children with disabilities by their non-disabled peers. (GLR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Denison Univ. Research Foundation, Granville, OH.
Authoring Institution: N/A