Attitudes of Elite Athletes with Impairments Toward One Another: A Hierarchy of Preference

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 University of Minnesota
  • 2 Texas Woman’s University
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Hierarchies of preference by elite athletes with impairments toward other athletes with impairments were examined by administering the Athletes With Impairments Attitude Survey (AWIAS) to 138 members of the United States Disabled Sports Team as they were traveling to the 1992 Paralympic Games. The AWIAS uses 12 statements concerning social and sport relationships to measure social distance from a particular impairment group. Five groups of athletes participated—athletes with amputations, cerebral palsy, dwarfism or les autres, paraplegia or quadriplegia, and visual impairment—with each participant filling out a separate survey for the four impairment groups other than his or her own. For all groups combined, the participants’ responses toward other impairment groups, ordered from most to least favorable attitudes, were amputations, les autres, para/quadriplegia, visual impairment, and cerebral palsy. The preference hierarchies for individual groups were very similar to this overall pattern.

James V. Mastro, Allen W. Burton, and Marjorie Rosendahl are with the Division of Kinesiology, 1900 University Ave. SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Claudine Sherrill is with the Department of Kinesiology, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX 76204. Direct correspondence to Allen W. Burton.