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Attitudes towards people with intellectual disability: comparisons across cultures and over time

Benomir, Aisha (2016) Attitudes towards people with intellectual disability: comparisons across cultures and over time. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Restricted until 1 August 2021.


The attitude of the general population to people with intellectual disability (ID) provides an important background for policy development. Furthermore, because of changes in attitudes over time and across cultures, it is vital to ground each country’s policy development on data from that country. This dissertation provides a cross-cultural and cross-sector analysis of attitudes to people with ID in Libya and in the UK, using questionnaire studies of three groups in each country: science students, psychology students and professionals in ID support services. The questionnaire used was the established Community Living Attitude Scales for Intellectual Disability (CLAS-ID). The CLAS-ID has four sub-scales: Empowerment (in decisions affecting their life), Exclusion (desire to segregate with negative affective tone), Sheltering (the need to supervise and protect) and Similarity (to normally achieving people). Initially, the CLAS-ID was translated into Arabic and validated with a small sample of respondents. Studies 1 and 2, which were undertaken in 2010, used the CLAS-ID for a Libyan sample and for a UK sample.The results indicated that the Libyan sample showed significantly lower scores on Empowerment, Similarity and Sheltering than the UK sample, but no significant difference on Exclusion. A range of within-group differences were also found. Study 3 was undertaken in 2012, using a similar sample to that of Study 1, and allowed investigation of the effects of the Arabic Spring on attitudes to ID in Libya. Despite the trauma, stress and insecurity in the wake of by the Libyan revolution, except for Exclusion there were a significant changes in attitudes to people with ID from 2010 to late 2012. Study 4 undertook an equivalent comparison of UK scores over the same time period. For the UK the most relevant event in this context was the massive media coverage of the London Paralympic Games 2012. Significant (and desirable) changes in all four CLAS-ID dimensions were found, with particularly strong effects for Empowerment and Inclusion. The implications of these findings and those in the earlier studies are discussed, limitations considered, and directions for further research outlined.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: ms Aisha Benomir
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 10:10
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 10:10
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13689

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