Abstract

This study explored the malleability of attitudes with the goal of improving social inclusion for a stigmatized group, specifically individuals with developmental disabilities. Contact Theory was used as an intentional structure for meaningful intergroup contact to assess, understand, and improve meanings applied to individuals with disabilities at an inclusive summer day camp. Adolescent volunteers were administered quantitative questionnaires utilizing the Contact with Disabled Persons Scale (CDP) and the Multi-Dimensional Attitude Scale (MAS). Collected data were used to determine the efficacy of involvement in an inclusive recreation program on adolescent participants' attitudes toward disability. After a covariate-adjusted regression analysis, contact with individuals with disabilities was found to significantly predict change in attitudes toward disability. Dyadic interviews were held after camp participation to provide additional sources of data with potential for deeper understanding of the camp experience for the volunteers. The data suggested participants perceived camp as a setting for the development of reciprocal relationships with peers who have developmental disabilities. These relationships further framed participants' understanding of the experience as fun, difficult, and resulting in perceived personal change. Implications for future research are discussed.

Degree

MS

College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Recreation Management

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2014-12-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd7508

Keywords

Contact theory, attitudes, disability, adolescents, inclusive recreation

Language

english

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