Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Jasmine Townsend, Ph.D., CTRS, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Brandi M. Crowe, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS

Committee Member

Brent L. Hawkins, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS

Committee Member

Lauren Duffy, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of an international adaptive sports training program on attitudes towards individuals with physical disabilities. Participants (n=37), either college students or professors at the Institute of Physical Education in Chiang Mai, Thailand, were involved in an international adaptive sports training program provided by the U.S. Department of State. The Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS) was used to measure attitudes before and after exposure to the international adaptive sports training program. A one-way ANOVA and descriptive statistics were utilized to compare participant scores across time, and explore demographic information. Findings indicated that there were no significant changes in attitudes upon exposure to and experience with adaptive sports and individuals with disabilities. While adaptive sports benefit the participant physically, emotionally, cognitively, and psychologically, adaptive sports can also serve as a vehicle to combat society’s negative attitudes. However, more work is needed in developing an appropriate tool to evaluate such programs in order to achieve attitude changes.

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