Changes in acceptance of diversity through volunteering with youth with disabilities Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/3x816n945

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  • Background/Purpose: A variety of models have been proposed to understand individuals with disabilities. Although it is important to consider the perspective of disability each model presents, the social model has gained considerable attention. This model explains disability as limitations and restrictions of society and the environment. A subset of the social model is the minority group model, which focuses on the similarities of racial minority groups and people with disability. To decrease the negative experiences of individuals with disabilities, more research is needed. The purpose of this study was to identify the potential factors influencing acceptance of diversity, in context of a service-learning program. Method: Eighty-Nine participants, volunteered in an 8-week physical activity program for youth with disabilities, and completed weekly surveys based on perceptions of their own experience, the behavior of the youth they were paired with, and support from their activity leader. The pre-and post-survey included the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity scale to assess acceptance of diversity. Results: Four multiple regressions were used in this study. The first multiple regression showed the participant’s perceived experience (β =50) and the youth’s behavior (β =-.50) significantly influence acceptance of diversity of contact (R=. 25). The second multiple regression showed own experience (β =. 48) to significantly influence acceptance of relativistic appreciation (R=. 26). The third multiple regression revealed own experience (β =-.56) and of youth’s behavior (β =-.47) significantly influence acceptance of comfort with differences (R=. 30). The fourth multiple regression showed own experience (β =. 62) and of youth’s behavior (β =-.55) significantly influence overall acceptance of diversity (R=. 31). Conclusion: Service-learning programs that give volunteers opportunities to interact with youth with disabilities, have the potential to influence acceptance of diversity. Thus, it may be important to provide students with opportunities to interact in diverse situations.
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