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ERIC Number: EJ1205844
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0363-4523
Autism Stigma in Communication Classrooms: Exploring Peer Attitudes and Motivations toward Interacting with Atypical Students
Underhill, Jill Cornelius; Ledford, Victoria; Adams, Hillary
Communication Education, v68 n2 p175-192 2019
College students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face unique social barriers and are often stigmatized by their peers. Communication and instruction researchers are uniquely positioned to foster an inclusive communication climate in the classroom that minimizes stigma and promotes peer acceptance. To do so, instructors must understand how stigma operates in the classroom--including the features, reactions, and effects of peer stigma communication. The present study utilizes the model of stigma communication (MSC; Smith, [2007]. Language of the lost: An explication of stigma communication. "Communication Theory," 17, 462-485. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.2007.00307.x) to explore those three facets of the stigma communication process using a mixed methods design. Results showed that attitudes significantly predicted both social distance and openness toward interaction with atypical students. Though participants expressed generally positive attitudes toward classroom inclusion, open-ended feedback revealed stigmatized beliefs and desired social distance from peers with ASD. Based on these results, we provide implications for and strategies to promote an inclusive classroom climate for students with ASD.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A