Attitudes Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities: Application of Planned Behavior Theory

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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The aim of this study was to examine attitudes and intentions of physical education students toward teaching individuals with disabilities. The planned behavior model and two exogenous variables (attitude strength and role identity) were used to examine antecedents of students’ intentions for teaching individuals with disabilities in the future. The sample consisted of 99 university students taking adapted physical education courses. Structural equation modeling analysis showed that the role identity and attitude strength variables mediated the effects of subjective norms and attitudes toward behavior on intention. Also, perceived behavioral control was not a direct determinant of intention but affected the attitude strength variable. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical as well as practical implications for understanding attitude-behavior relationships in physical education for special populations. It seems that professionals’ intentions to work with individuals with disabilities are formed as part of their role identity in the society and are affected by professionals’ attitude confidence toward teaching individuals with disabilities.

Yannis Theodorakis is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Democritos University of Thrace, 69100, Komotini, Greece. Konstantinos Bagiatis is with the Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece. Marios Goudas is with the School of Education, University of Exeter, Exeter, U.K.

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