An Assessment of Perceived Antecedents to Attitudes of College Students towards Children with Autism

Dr. Meungguk Park
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Dr. Morgan Chitiyo
Duquesne University

Dr. Changdeog Huh 
Yeungnam University

Dr. Waganesh Zeleke
Duquesne University

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which six antecedent variables influenced college students’ attitudes towards autism. A comprehensive literature review and factor analysis identified the six perceived antecedents, including learning and volunteer experience, family/friends with autism, parental role, exposure to children with autism, mass media influence, and inclusion belief toward autism. A total 195 college students participated in the study. Results of multiple regression analyses indicated that the regression model was significant (p < .001), and the six antecedent variables explained 18% of the variance. Inclusion belief was found to be a significant predictor of attitudes (? = .32, p < .01).  In addition, gender, student major, personal learning and volunteer experience were found to influence personal attitudes. 

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