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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Patricia Tangemann, MEd, PT

Second Advisor

Ann Williams, PhD, PT


Negative attitudes toward the handicapped still exist. Children begin to form attitudes when very young. Educators, support personnel within the school system, and parents play a major role in shaping the attitudes of young children. Exposing children to the handicapped and providing educational programs about the handicapped are two primary methods used to promote positive attitudes. This study compared the attitudes of students in four different school settings demonstrating situations with handicapped children and/or an educational program about the handicapped. The results showed a significantly (p<.05) more positive attitude in settings having handicapped children. In settings where there were handicapped children and an educational program, the data suggests that the primary influence toward positive attitudes came from the presence of the handicapped, not from having an educational program. However, having an educational program promotes a significantly (p<.05) better attitude than having neither a program or handicapped children.


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