Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development
Vilia M. Tarvydas
Dennis C. Harper
Although the attitudes of non-disabled individuals toward people with disabilities (PWDs) have been studied for years, most of those studies were conducted outside of Ethiopia and very little has been written about Ethiopians and their attitudes toward PWDs. The current study examined the attitudes of Ethiopian college students toward persons with visible disabilities. Secondarily, the study identified variables that may affect these attitudes.
Past studies identified that negative attitudes have created societal barriers affecting the quality of life of PWDs. The non-participation of PWDs in society has been very evident in Ethiopia; however. Because negative attitudes are barriers, without identification and adequate measurement of the attitudes, changing them is difficult. This study provided information about the attitudes of a group of university students at Addis Ababa University who might be influential in the future inclusion of PWDs in Ethiopia as future elite professionals in Ethiopian society.
This study collected data on Ethiopian college students' attitudes toward people with visible disabilities as measured by the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons With Disabilities (MAS). This study examined the students' attitudes and also identified significant variables. The results of the CFA, T-test, ANOVA, and correlation analyses provided some major findings. First, the CFA conducted indicated that the model of MAS for the Israeli sample did not fit the Ethiopian sample. The first CFA was conducted because the MAS was only used with the Israel sample. There were no studies which utilized the MAS to compare it to. The results indicated that 12 out of 34 item loaded below .4, indicating that the model of the MAS did not fit. The second CFA was conducted using the 22 items which loaded above .4, while it fit better the first one, over all it did not fit the model. The MAS indicated that Ethiopian college students have negative attitudes in general. The variables gender, level of education, year in school, academic major, contact level, self-esteem, and cultural orientation proved to be significant factors which affected attitudes toward disabilities. Limitations of the study and future research recommendations were discussed.
Copyright 2011 Almaz Tamene Getachew