Date of Award

7-1-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.W.

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr Sarita Chukwuka

Abstract

Social workers who interact with disabled children have developed unique attitudes and perceptions about physical disability in children and the disabling effects of material, social, and environmental components of society. Because of the unique problems associated with the care of physically disabled children, social workers are needed to provide ongoing services to help these children manage their disabilities and address their social and health concerns. This study was designed to elucidate the attitudes of social workers which may affect their interactions with disabled children. This information can be used to increase the effectiveness of social workers who plan to work with disabled children. This nationwide study is a preliminary investigation of the attitudes of social workers in children’s hospitals which are members of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (NACH). Surveys were sent to seventeen social services departments in these hospitals and were distributed to full time social workers who interact with disabled children between the ages of 6 and 17. Sixteen surveys from 5 different hospitals were returned. All returned surveys were used in the study The survey consisted of three parts: 1) a demographic section; 2) the Attitudes Toward Disabled Children Scale; and 3) the Attitudes Towards Disablement Scale. The data were analyzed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Although the number of participating social workers was small, preliminary results indicate that social workers who serve physically disabled children have a positive attitude toward disabled children and feel that societal components are responsible for further disabling those children

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