ERIC Number: ED433740
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
College Students' Attitudes towards Mental Retardation: A Pilot Study.
Curran, Joanne M.
Two studies examined college students' attitudes toward people with mental retardation as a function of experiences with this population. In the first study, college students (N=107), who were enrolled in a course, "Psychology of Mental Retardation," participated in a service learning experience by working in group homes, day treatment programs, integrated day care, or residential school settings. Students kept a journal and completed an anonymous questionnaire about their experiences. Content analysis showed positive attitudes about the experience and toward people with mental retardation. In the second study, attitudes of 48 students enrolled in the same course were compared with those of 25 students taking a consumer economics course. Students were administered the Community Living Attitudes Scale (CLAS-MR) prior to and following the course and service learning experience. On the pretest, there were no significant differences between the two groups on three of four dimensions ("exclusion,""sheltering," and "similarity"), but students taking the mental retardation course had more positive views toward "empowerment". Attitudes of students who completed the Psychology of Mental Retardation Class changed significantly over the course of the semester. They were more positive toward empowerment, less positive toward sheltering, more exclusive, and their attitudes didn't change toward similarity. Interpretations of these findings are provided. (Contains 23 references and questionnaire and CLAS-MR results.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (106th, San Francisco, CA, August 14-18, 1998.