This paper emphasizes that attitude research in adapted physical education must become increasingly theory oriented. Likewise, teacher training must broaden to include scholarly study in relation to social psychology and attitude theory. To facilitate progress in this direction, nine attitude theories have been abstracted from the literature and reviewed under four general headings: learning-behavior theories, cognitive integration theories, consistency theories, and reasoned action theory. Individual theories presented are (a) contact, (b) mediated generalization, (c) assimilation-contrast or persuasive communication, (d) stigma, (e) interpersonal relations, (f) group dynamics, (g) cognitive dissonance, and (h) reasoned action. Illustrations of how each theory applies to selected studies in adapted physical education research and practice are offered, and a lengthy reference list provides both primary and secondary sources for the further study of attitudes.
April Tripp and Claudine Sherrill
April Tripp, Ron French, and Claudine Sherrill
Contact theory was examined by comparing total and subscale attitude scores of children toward peers with disabilities (physical, learning, behavioral) in integrated (contact) and segregated (noncontact) physical education settings. Subjects were 455 children ages 9 to 12 years; class size was 40 to 45. Data were collected using the Peer Attitudes Toward the Handicapped Scale (PATHS). ANOVA on total attitude scores indicated gender differences, with girls having more positive attitudes, but no difference between settings. MANOVA on subscale attitude scores revealed gender differences, favoring girls, only on the physical disability subscale. Setting significantly affected attitudes toward physical and behavioral disabilities but not learning disabilities. Children in the integrated setting had significantly more positive attitudes toward peers with behavioral disabilities than those in the segregated setting, but the reverse was true toward peers with physical disabilities. Contact theory was supported by this research for only behavioral disability.
April Tripp and Terry L. Rizzo
This study assessed the affect of the label (i.e., CP) attached to a description of a child’s motor ability and teacher attributes on the variables of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TpB) on two groups of elementary teachers (label and no-label). Results from a Hotelling = s T2 MANOVA showed a labeling effect. Results from a simple linear regression procedure also showed that of the teacher attributes assessed, only perceived teaching competence (p < .01) predicted favorable intentions. Support for the TpB was demonstrated for the group with the label for the social normative component (p < .000). Further analyses showed that for the group that receive that label information, only the school principal (p < .05) was associated with favorable intentions.