Type of Document Dissertation Author Albritton, F Reg Author's Email Address RAlbritton@aol.com URN etd-07112005-142010 Title A Comparative Analysis of Business Majors' Attitudes Toward Disability, Job Applicant Disability Status, and the Placeability of Persons with Disabilities Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Childhood Education, Reading and Disability Services, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Deborah J. Ebener Committee Chair Bruce M. Menchetti Committee Member David A. Macpherson Committee Member E. Jane Burkhead Committee Member Keywords
- Job Applicant
- Hiring Decisions
Date of Defense 2005-06-28 Availability unrestricted AbstractIn this study, undergraduate students majoring in business (n = 124) were asked to examine then rate the overall strength of a job applicant’s qualifications. The main thrust of this investigation was to examine the association between job applicant disability status and the strength of rating given the job applicant for employment.
Three focal areas comprised this study. The first examined the impact of (a) disability status of the job applicant, (b) attitudes of the participants toward people with a disability, and (c) prior contact with people having a disability on the hiring decisions of the participants. The second focal area examined the extent to which the association between the job applicant’s disability status and strength of rating given the applicant varied depending on the participants’ (a) attitudes toward people with a disability and (b) extent of prior contact with disability. The third focal area examined the extent to which attitudes toward people with a disability may be influenced by a job applicant’s disability status and whether attitudes toward people with a disability mediate the association between the job applicant’s disability status and the strength of rating given the applicant for employment.
The Attitude Toward Disabled Persons (ATDP) Scale, Form – O (Yuker, Block, & Campbell, 1960) provided a measure of attitudes. A six-point job applicant rating scale was used to measure the propensity for hiring the applicant. A four-point scale was adopted to provide a measure of prior contact with disability. The demographic factors of age, gender, and race/ethnicity were also incorporated into the analyses.
The participants of the study were randomly assigned to one of two groups based on their class membership. One group of participants viewed a video depicting the job applicant sitting in a wheelchair when greeted by the interviewer while participants assigned to the second group viewed a video showing the job applicant walking when being greeted.
Results of bivariate as well as multivariate analysis indicated that the participants in both groups comprising this study tended to rank both job applicants favorably without regard to their disability status. Ratings submitted by participants viewing the job applicant not in a wheelchair versus those viewing the job applicant in a wheelchair were 1.295 and 1.370 respectively (p = 0.6920).
Multivariate analysis revealed that a significant amount of the variance in attitudes toward people with a disability was explained by the set of independent variables (R2 = 0.1459, p = 0.0092). The variance in attitudes toward people with a disability was explained primarily by disability status (â = 7.2895, p = 0.0011) and Hispanic ethnicity (â = 7.9547, p = 0.0241), with those viewing the job applicant in a wheelchair having more positive attitudes toward people with a disability than those viewing the job applicant not in a wheelchair, and those of Hispanic ethnicity having more positive attitudes toward people with a disability than whites.
The implications for assessment and placement practices in the field of vocational rehabilitation have been provided as well as suggestions for future research.
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