Date Written

Spring 3-30-2015

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

Allied Health-BA

Department

Health & Sport Sciences

Advisor

Ann-Catherine Sullivan

First Committee Member

Shelley Payne

Keywords

Disabilities, Best of Both Worlds, ShareBacAPac, Attitudes, Contact Theory, Inclusion

Subject Categories

Social Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to distinguish the difference in attitudes of students at Otterbein University in the Health and Sport Sciences Department who have experience working with students with disabilities compared to those without the experience. Throughout the research, the Otterbein undergraduate students were split into two groups. One group was the experimental group while the other was the control group. The experimental group consisted of Allied Health and Athletic Training majors, while the control group contained Health Promotion and Sports Management majors. The experimental groups volunteered to participate in either the ShareBacAPac program or the Best of Both Worlds workout/fitness program. The control and experimental groups completed a pre and post CAIPE-R questionnaire to measure participant attitudes toward having individuals with disabilities included in their fitness or recreation program (Block & Zeman, 1996). Though not statistically significant, participants had slightly higher mean scores on the post data vs. the pre data for the control groups. As for the SharBacAPac group, the mean scores were slightly lower, expressing a negative attitude change after participation. The BOBW workout buddy program and the ShareBacAPac program provide participants with an opportunity to expand their perception of individuals with a disability and how their small actions can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Although there was no significant change in how the individuals felt towards working with students with disabilities, the correlation was positive. This fact was significant in and of itself because it shows that a majority of the participants had a positive experience and are walking away with a positive attitude toward students with disabilities.

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