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ERIC Number: EJ939688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Children's Understanding of the Causal Origins of Disability
Smith, Lesley A.; Williams, Joanne M.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v5 n3 p383-397 2004
This study explores children's understanding of the causal origins of disabilities. Using a forced-choice explanation task, children's understanding of social-psychological, physical, and biological causal explanations of disabilities was considered. We presented 79 children (26 4- to 5-year-olds, 26 6- to 7-year-olds, and 27 10- to 11-year-olds) with 4 vignettes describing a child with a particular disability (physical disability, blindness, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Participants rated their agreement with a variety of causal explanations of disability. Results showed significant age, disability, and causal explanation differences in children's causal understandings of disability. Children of all ages showed a preference for physical and biological causes of disability and rejected social-psychological causal explanations. These findings highlight the usefulness of employing a forced-choice methodology to examine young children's concepts of the causal origins of disabilities. (Contains 2 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)