Historically, persons with disabilities have encountered negative attitudes both in the general public and among rehabilitation professionals. These attitudes vary as a function of type of disability and situational context. In promoting positive attitudes toward persons with disabilities, therapeutic adventure represents a promising intervention. Little is known regarding the attitudes of staff members who provide therapeutic adventure, however. This study investigated staff attitudes (N = 159) toward persons with disabilities. Results indicated that although therapeutic adventure staff perceived persons with and without disabilities similarly, there was a stronger negative preference to work with persons with physical mobility impairments. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the combination of demographic variables and perceptions regarding knowledge of modifying programs, beliefs about the ease of adapting programs, and training competence in disability issues predicted a moderate amount of variance on the dependent measure. Implications for professional practice and research are examined.
Author James T. Herbert
Volume Vol 34, No 3 (2000)