Attitudes towards People with Disabilities: A Systematic Review of Intervention Effectiveness
(1) California State University
(2) Stephen F. Austin State University
DOI : https://doi.org/10.23916/0020200526120
The improvement of attitudes towards people with disabilities has led to studies focusing on the impact of interventions. This review systematically analyzes and synthesizes the use of interventions to influence attitudes toward people with disabilities. A comprehensive search was conducted across multiple databases to identify studies that used an intervention in English with a defined assessment instrument meant to measure attitudinal changes toward people with disabilities. Based on a literature research, 32 studies conducted in fourteen different countries were included. In the majority of the cases, the use of interventions was an effective tool to improve attitudes towards disabilities. Implications of findings for practitioners and researchers are discussed.
Amosun, S. L., Volmink, L., & Rosin, R. (2005). Perceived images of disability: The reflections of two
undergraduate medical students in a university in South Africa on life in a wheelchair. Disability and
Rehabilitation, 27(16), 961–966. http://doi.org/10.1080/09638280500030407
Bartram, T., & Cavanagh, J. (2019) Re-thinking vocational education and training: Creating opportunities
for workers with disability in open employment. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 71(3),
–349, DOI: 10.1080/13636820.2019.1638168
Bettany-Saltikov, J. (2010a). Learning how to undertake a systematic review: Part 1. Nursing Standard,
(50), 47–55. http://doi.org/10.7748/ns2010.08.24.50.47.c7939
Bettany-Saltikov, J. (2010b). Learning how to undertake a systematic review: Part 2. Nursing Standard, 24(51), 47–56. http://doi.org/10.7748/ns2010.08.24.50.47.c7939
Bizjak, B., Knezevic, M., & Cvetreznik, S. (2011). Attitude change toward guests with disabilities. Reflections from Tourism Students. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 842–857. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2010.11.017
Burke J., Bezyak, J., Fraser, R.T., Pete, J., Ditchman, N., & Chan, F. (2013) Employers' attitudes toward hiring and retaining people with disabilities: A review of the literature. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counseling,19(1), 21–38.
Campbell F.K. (2012) Stalking Ableism: Using Disability to Expose ‘Abled’ Narcissism. In: Goodley D.,
Hughes B., Davis L. (eds) Disability and Social Theory. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Cohen, R., Roth, D., York, A., & Neikrug, S. (2012). Youth leadership program for changing self-image
and attitude toward people with disabilities. Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation, 11(3),
Corrigan, P.W., & Kosyluk, K.A. (2014). Mental illness stigma: Types, constructs and vehicles for change
In P.W. Corrigan (Ed.), The stigma of disease and disability: Understanding causes and overcoming (pp.35–
. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.
Corrigan, P. W., Larson, J.E., & Rusch, N. (2009). Self-stigma and they "why try" effect: Impact on life
goals and evidence-based practices. World Psychiatry, 8(2), 75–81.
Corrigan, P.W., Morris, S.B., Michaels, P.J., Rafacz, J.D., & Rusch, N. (2012). Challenging the public
stigma of mental illness: A meta-analysis of outcome studies. Psychiatric Services, 63, (10), 963–
Corrigan, P.W., & Penn, D. L.(2015). Lessons from social psychology on discredting psychiatric stigma.
Stigma and Health, 1(S), 2–17).
Ditchman N., Werner, S., Kosyluk K., & Corrigan, P. (2016). Stigma and Intellectual Disability: Potential
application of Mental Illness research. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58(2), 206–216.
de Boer, A., Pijl, S. J., & Minnaert, A. (2012). Students' attitudes toward peers with disabilities: A review
of the literature. International Journal of Disability Development and education, 59(4), 379–392.
de Boer, A., Pijl, S. J., Minnaert, A., & Post, W. (2014). Evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention
program to influence attitudes of students towards peers with disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(3), 572-583. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1908-6
Dunst, C. J. (2014). Meta-analysis of the effects of puppet shows on attitudes toward and knowledge of
individuals with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 80(2), 136-148. doi:10.1177/001440291408000201
Ferrara, K., Burns, J., & Mills, H. (2015). Public attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities after
viewing olympic or paralympic performance. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 32(1), 19–33. http://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2014-0136
Fichten, C. S., Schipper, F., & Cutler, N. (2005). Does volunteering with children affect attitudes toward adults with disabilities? A prospective study of unequal contact. Rehabilitation Psychology, 50(2), 164–173. http://doi.org/10.1037/0090-5522.214.171.124
Flatt-Fultz, E., & Phillips, L. A. (2012). Empowerment training and direct support professionals’ attitudes about individuals with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities : JOID, 16(2), 119–25. http://doi.org/10.1177/1744629512443652
Galli, G., Lenggenhager, B., Scivoletto, G., Molinari, M., & Pazzaglia, M. (2015). Don’t look at my wheelchair ! The plasticity of longlasting prejudice. Medical Education, 1239–1247. http://doi.org/10.1111/medu.12834
Gannon, S., & McGilloway, S. (2009). Children’s attitudes toward their peers with Down Syndrome in schools in rural Ireland: An exploratory study. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 24(4), 455–463. http://doi.org/10.1080/08856250903223104
Gilbride, D., Stensrud, R., Ehlers, C., Evans, E., & Peterson, C. (2000). Employers' attitudes toward hiring persons with disabilities and vocational rehabilitation services. Journal of Rehabilitation, 66(4), 17–23.
Gona, J., Newton, C., Hartley, S., & Bunning, K. (2018). Persons with disabilities as experts-by
experience: Using personal narratives to affect community attitudes in Kilifi, Kenya. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 18(1), 18.
Green, S., Davis, C., Karshmer, E., Marsh, P., & Straight, B.(2005). Living stigma: The impact of
labeling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination in the lives of individuals with
disabilties and their families. Sociaological Inquiry, 75(2), 197–463.
Hall, E. W. (2008). Changing the way guests interact with guests with disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 19(1), 15–23.
Hamaideh, S. H., & Mudallal, R. (2009). Attitudes of Jordanian nurding students toward mental illness: The effect of teaching and contact on attitudes change. College Student Journal, 43(2), 335–346.
Hassanein, E. E. (2015). Changing teachers’ negative attitudes toward persons with intellectual disabilities. Behavior Modification, 39(3), 367–389. http://doi.org/10.1177/0145445514559929
Holtz, K. D., & Tessman, G. K. (2007). Evaluation of a peer-focused intervention to increase knowledge and foster positive attitudes toward children with Tourette syndrome. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 19(6), 531–542. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-007-9042-z
Hutchinson, L. M., Hastings, R. P., Hunt, P. H., Bowler, C. L., Banks, M. E., & Totsika, V. (2014). Who’s Challenging Who? Changing attitudes toward those whose behaviour challenges. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 58(2), 99–109. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2012.01630.x
Johnson, M. (2006). Disability awareness: Doing it right. Louisville, KY: Avocado Press.
Jones, J., McQueen, M., Lowe, S., Minnes, P., & Rischke, A. (2015). Interprofessional education in Canada: Addressing knowledge, skills, and attitudes concerning intellectual disability for future healthcare professionals. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 12(3), 172–180. http://doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12112
Kim, J., Park, E., & Snell, M. E. (2005). Impact of information and weekly contact on attitudes of Korean general educators and nondisabled students regarding peers with disabilities. Mental Retardation, 43(6), 401–415.
Kirkwood, A. D., & Stamm, B. H. (2006). A social marketing approach to challenging stigma. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37(5), 472–476. http://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.37.5.472
Krahe, B., & Altwasser, C. (2006). Changing negative attitudes toward persons with physical disabilities: An experimental intervention. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 16(1), 59–69. http://doi.org/10.1002/casp.849
Krahn, G. L., Walker, D. K., & Correa-De-Araujo, R. (2015). Persons with disabilities as an unrecognized health disparity population. American Journal of Public Health, 105(S2), S198-S206. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302182
Lewis, J. L. (2011). Student attitudes toward impairment: An assessment of passive and active learning methods in urban planning education. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), 237–249. http://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2010.524921
Lindau, N., Amin, T., Zambon, A., & Scior, K. (2018). The effect of Brief Digital Interventions on attitudes to Intellectual Disability: Results from a pilot study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 31(1), 106–113.
Livingston, J. D., & Boyd, J.E. (2010). Correlates and consequences of internalized stigma for people with
mental illness: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 71, 2150–2061.
Lu, J., Webber, W., Romero, D., & Chirino, C. (2018). Changing attitudes toward people with
disabilities using public media: An experimental study. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin,
MacMillan, M., Tarrant, M., Abraham, C., & Morris, C. (2014). The association between children's
contact with people with disabilities and their attitudes towards disability: A systematic review.
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 56(6), 529–546. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12326
Marini, I., & Stebnicki, M. A. (Eds.). (2017). The psychological and social impact of illness and disability (7th
ed.). New York, NY.: Springer.
Marom, M., Cohen, D., & Naon, D. (2007). Changing disability‐related attitudes and self‐efficacy of Israeli children via the Partners to Inclusion Programme. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 54(1), 113–127. http://doi.org/10.1080/10349120601149821
McCarthy, J. W., Donofrio-Horwitz, L. M., & Smucker, L. M. D. (2010). The effects of reading personal narratives written by an individual who uses AAC on the attitudes of pre-professionals in business. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (Baltimore, Md. : 1985), 26(2), 61–74. http://doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2010.481562
McKenney, A. (2018). Attitude changes following participation in disability simulation activities.
Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 52(3), 215–236.
Moore, D., & Nettelbeck, T. (2013). Effects of short-term disability awareness training on attitudes of
adolescent schoolboys toward persons with a disability. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental
Disability, 38(3), 223-231. doi:10.3109/13668250.2013.79053
Phadraig, C. M. G., Nunn, J. H., Tornsey, O., & Timms, M. (2015). Does special care dentistry undergraduate teaching improve dental student attitudes toward people with disabilities? European Journal of Dental Education, 19(2), 107–112. http://doi.org/10.1111/eje.12110
Rabenschlag, F., Schusterschitz, C., Conca, A., Knuf, A., Needham, I., & Hoffmann, H. (2012).
Influence of single peer interventions on the recovery attitude of persons with a psychiatric disability. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26(4), 755–760. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.00995.x
Rao, S.(2004). Faculty attitudes and students with disabilities in higher education: A literatura review. College Student Journal, 38(2), 191–198.
Reina, R., López, V., Jiménez, M., García-Calvo, T., & Hutzler, Y. (2011). Effects of awareness interventions on children's attitudes toward peers with a visual impairment. International journal of rehabilitation research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Rehabilitationsforschung. Revue internationale de recherches de readaptation, 34(3), 243.
Rose, J., Gallivan, A., Wright, D., & Blake, J. (2014). Staff training using positive behavioural support: The effects of a one-day training on the attributions and attitudes of care staff who work with people with an intellectual disability and challenging behaviour. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 60(1), 35–42. http://doi.org/10.1179/2047387713Y.0000000020
Rule, A. C., Stefanich, G. P., Boody, R. M., & Peiffer, B. (2011). Impact of adaptive materials on teachers and their students with visual impairments in secondary science and mathematics classes.International Journal of Science Education, 33(6), 865–887. http://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2010.506619
Saravanan, C., & Rangaswamy, K. (2012). Effectiveness of counselling on the attitudes of mothers toward their children with intellectual disability. Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 3(1), 82–94. http://doi.org/10.1080/21507686.2011.648648
Schwartz, D., Blue, E., McDonald, M., Giuliani, G., Weber, G., Seirup, H., … Perkins, A. (2010). Dispelling stereotypes: Promoting disability equality through film. Disability & Society, 25(7), 841–848. http://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2010.520898
Silcox, D., Castillo, Y.A., & Reed, B. (2014). The Human-animal bond: Applications for rehabilitation
professionals. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 45(3), 27–37.
Sinai, A., Strydom, A., & Hassiotis, A. (2013). Evaluation of medical students attitudes toward people
with intellectual disabilities: A naturalistic study in one medical school. Advances in Mental Health and
Intellectual Disabilities, 7, 18–26. http://doi.org/10.1108/20441281311294666
Smart, J. (2009). Disability, society, and the individual (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Smith, C., & Forrester-Jones, R. (2014). Experiential learning: Changing student attitudes toward learning disability. Tizard Learning Disabilities Review, 19(3), 110–117.
Sullivan, E., & Glidden, L. M. (2014). Changing attitudes toward disabilities through unified sports. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 52(5), 367–378. http://doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-52.5.367
Swaim, K. F., & Morgan, S. B. (2001). Children's attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a peer with
autistic behaviors: Does a brief educational intervention have an effect? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(2), 195–205.
Tavares, W. (2011). An evaluation of the Kids are Kids disability awareness program: Increasing social inclusion among children with physical disabilities. Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, 10, 25–35.
Taylor, H., Krane, D., & Orkis, K. (2010). The ADA, 20 years later. New York: Harris Interactive (conducted for the Kessler Foundation and National Organization on Disability).
Tracy, J., & Iacono, T. (2008). People with developmental disabilities teaching medical students--does it make a difference? Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 33(January 2015), 345–348. http://doi.org/10.1080/13668250802478633
Verdonschot, M.M., de Witte, L.P., Reichrath, E., Buntinx, W.H., & Curfs, L.M. (2009). Community participation of people with an intellectual disability: A review of empirical findings. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(4), 303–318.
Vignes, C.V., Godeau, E., Sentenac, M., Coley, N., Navarro, F., Grandjean, H., & Arnaud. C. (2009). Determinants of students’ attitudes toward peers with disabilities. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 51, 473–479. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03283.x.
Walker, J., & Scior, K. (2013). Tackling stigma associated with intellectual disability among the general public: A study of two indirect contact interventions. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(7), 2200–2210. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2013.03.024
Werner, S., Corrigan, P., Ditchman, N., & Sokol, K. (2012). Stigma and intellectual disability: A review of
measures and future directions. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33,748–65.
Wozencroft, A. J., Pate, J. R., & Griffiths, H. K. (2015). Experiential learning and Its impact on students’
attitudes toward youth With disabilities. Journal of Experiential Education, 38(2), 129–143.
Yazdani, N., Yazdani, F., & Nobakht, L. (2016). Reflective self-awareness exercise ; steps toward changing students’ attitudes toward disability. International Journal of Therapies and Rehabilitation, 5(2). http://doi.org/10.5455/ijtrr.000000122
Zychlinski, E., Ben-Ezra, M., & Raz, Y. H. (2016). Changing attitudes about disability : The impact of the “Accessible Community” program. Journal of Socail Work, 16(6), 742–757. http://doi.org/10.1177/1468017315589871
Article MetricsAbstract Views : 253 times
- There are currently no refbacks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.