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

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 (β = .32, p < .01). In addition, gender, student major, personal learning and volunteer experience were found to influence personal attitudes.
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