Preservice Teachers’ Mindfulness and Attitudes Toward Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction

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Teachers’ attitudes toward students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are vital predictors of successful inclusive education. Guided by the basic psychological needs theory, this cross-sectional survey aimed to examine the relationships among mindfulness, basic psychological needs satisfaction (basic psychological needs theory-based construct), and attitudes toward including students with ASD among preservice physical education (PE) teachers. A multisection survey form was administered to 211 preservice PE teachers. Path analysis indicated that mindfulness and basic psychological needs satisfaction positively predicted attitudes toward the inclusion of students with ASD. In addition, mindfulness had an indirect effect on attitudes through basic psychological needs satisfaction. The findings provide a preliminary direction for the development of a mindfulness-based intervention program for enhancing preservice PE teachers’ attitudes toward the inclusion of students with ASD. The findings also suggest that the basic psychological needs theory is a useful framework for understanding the relationship between mindfulness and attitudes. Future longitudinal or intervention studies are needed to examine whether the findings can be replicated.

Li is with the Dept. of Health and Physical Education, the Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore. Wong and Yu are with the Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong. Sum is with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.

Li (cxlilee@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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