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ERIC Number: EJ1161493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1941-3432
Impacts of Vocational Interest on Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Persons with Disabilities
Huskin, Patricia R.; Reiser-Robbins, Christine; Kwon, Soyoung
Research in Higher Education Journal, v33 Nov 2017
Research into the concerning persistence of disability bias in the U.S. indicates that increased knowledge about disabilities promotes more positive attitudes toward persons with disability. This study explored higher education, specifically academic major and vocational interest, as one venue through which to better understand the attitudes that young adults hold toward persons with disability. Drawing on a sample population of 766 undergraduate students, it examined respondents' social distance, attitudes held toward entering into social relationships with persons with disability. It first compared the social distance expressed by students majoring in human service-oriented fields of study, where interactions and contact with individuals with disabilities is expected and disability-related training is integrated into their academic curriculum, versus students in non-service-oriented fields of study, where contact with persons with disabilities is considered incidental to the profession. No statistically significant differences in social distance attitudes were found between these groupings. When academic major was analyzed individually, several majors showed meaningful patterns in reported social distance, though none were statistically significant. However, lower social distance attitudes did appear to correlate with respondents who have had regular contact experiences with persons with disability, a finding which raises particular opportunities for higher education institutions. Implications for research, educational training, and program development are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A