Gender and attitudes toward people using wheelchairs: A multidimensional perspective

Noa Vilchinsky*, Shirli Werner, Liora Findler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the effect of observer's gender and target's gender on attitudes toward people who use wheelchairs due to a physical disability. Four hundred four Jewish Israeli students without disabilities completed the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons With Disabilities (MAS). Initially, confirmatory factor analysis was used to revalidate the MAS. Five factors of attitudes were confirmed: distancing behaviors, positive cognitions, negative emotions, interpersonal stress, and calm. Findings showed that an encounter with a person using a wheelchair raised more positive cognitions and less distancing behaviors, but also evoked more negative emotions, than an encounter with a person without a disability. In the case of an encounter with a person without a disability, men contributed to greater interpersonal stress among women, whereas women contributed to greater interpersonal stress among men. The multidimensional approach revealed that the effect of gender was mostly salient with regard to interpersonal stress.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Volume53
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Wheelchair users

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