Measurement of attitudes towards persons with disabilities

Disabil Rehabil. 2000 Mar 20;22(5):211-24. doi: 10.1080/096382800296782.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assist those engaged in research dealing with attitudes towards persons with disabilities by presenting a catalogue of various attitude measurement methods.

Method: A review of the methodological and psychological literatures on the measurement of attitudes towards persons with disabilities.

Results: The review uncovered 10 direct methods to measure attitudes, in which the respondents are aware that they are participating in an experiment and 14 indirect methods in four categories that are not plagued by attitude-distorting influences because the respondents are not aware that their attitudes are being measured. A discussion of each method with examples is provided, followed by implications for rehabilitation practitioners, rehabilitation education and training, and rehabilitation researchers.

Conclusions: The investigation of attitudes towards persons with disabilities requires innovative experimental methods and psychometrically sound instruments that are reliable, valid, and multidimensional. Without such instruments, it will not be possible to obtain conclusive answers to important research questions concerning the relationship between these attitudes and the acceptance and integration of persons with disabilities into society.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Disabled Persons* / rehabilitation
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results