THE EFFECT OF DISABILITY TYPE--VISIBLE OR NONVISIBLE--ON THE ACCEPTANCE OF DISABILITY AND SELF-CONCEPT OF PHYSICALLY DISABLED UNIVERSITY STUDENTS (HANDICAP).
Committee ChairTucker, Inez
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among disability type, self-concept, acceptance of disability, number of incorrect diagnoses, length of time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis, and length of time between diagnosis and the present. The subjects of this study were 80 physically disabled students at The University of Arizona and Arizona State University; 42 students had visible disabilities and 38 students had nonvisible disabilities. Subjects were administered the Acceptance of Disability scale, the Tennessee Self-Concept scale, and a demographic questionnaire. Completion of these measures was through personal interview. Data were analyzed by several statistical procedures. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to examine relationships among the variables. T-tests were used to explore differences between disability type, sex, GPA, and the number of incorrect diagnoses. Analyses of variance were conducted to test for significant differences in disability type, self-concept, and acceptance of disability. Study results indicated that disability type did not have a statistically significant effect on self-concept or acceptance of disability. No significant relationship was found between self-concept and either length of time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis or length of time between diagnosis and the present. While no significant relationship occurred between acceptance of disability and length of time between diagnosis and the present, the length of time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis did have a statistically significant effect on acceptance of disability. No significant relationship was found between number of incorrect diagnoses and disability type or sex, but a significant relationship did exist between number of incorrect diagnoses and acceptance of disability and some measures of self-concept. Acceptance of disability was found to be predicted by self-concept. Recommendations included the revision of the Acceptance of Disability scale, similar research to be conducted with a less homogeneous population, the use of subjects who not only met medical criteria for participation in the study, but also considered themselves disabled, and the use of subjects having a more restricted group of nonvisible disabilities.