Abstract

OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing occupational therapy students’ context-specific attitudes toward persons with disabilities.

METHOD. Attitudes of 128 occupational therapy students toward placement of a residential treatment facility in their community were measured by a conjoint measurement of 16 stimulus cards (representing persons with varying disability types, gender, age, employment history, and history of aggression) and their responses were analyzed using conjoint analysis.

FINDINGS. Disability type and threat of violence were significantly higher on important scores compared with the other attributes across all students. Additionally, Year-Three students had significantly higher importance scores for the employment attribute than Year-One students.

CONCLUSION. Conjoint analysis can be used effectively, as an indirect measure, to study factors contributing to the formation of attitudes–preferences for persons with disabilities in specific social contexts.

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