Students' attitudes towards individuals with an intellectual disability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham


The aim of the study was to investigate attitudes held by a British student population towards individuals with an intellectual disability. Students participated in focus groups addressing their attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of individuals with an intellectual disability. Thematic analysis was the method used to identify emergent themes. Results identified five main themes in relation to intellectual disabilities. The themes suggest that attitude scales fail to effectively measure the multidimensional nature of British student's attitudes towards intellectual disabilities. One out of the five emergent attitude themes from the current study is sufficiently represented in measures of attitudes towards intellectual disability. These results suggest a need to modify current attitude scales or develop new ones to measure the British population's attitudes towards intellectual disabilities. A lack of knowledge about intellectual disabilities was also identified. Participants recognized exposure through the media as a tool to increase knowledge.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-103
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • Attitudes, Intellectual disabilities, Knowledge