Perceived risk as a factor influencing attitudes toward physically disabled children

Barbara Weiserbs, Jay Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of perceptions of risk on attitudes toward handicapped children were studied. Five hundred twenty two nonhandicapped children between the ages of 8 and 19 were assigned to one of four experimental conditions in a basic 2×2 (Risk×Interview) paradigm. Some subjects were assigned to a high risk condition whereby if they indicated they would like to be friends with a handicapped peer, they were told that they might actually have to befriend a handicapped youngster who was about to enter their class; other subjects were not told about any personal involvement with the handicapped child. In the Interview factor, about half the subjects were informed that their attitudes would be known to other group members, the other half of subjects were told their attitudes would remain private. The 2×2 paradigm was studied with children at three ages levels: 8-11; 12-15; 16-19. Results revealed three significant main effects, generally supporting the hypothesis regarding the effects of risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • attitudes
  • mainstreaming
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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