COLLEGE STUDENTS' SELF-EFFICACY, KNOWLEDGE, AND ATTITUDES ABOUT DISABILITY.

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    • Abstract:
      Background: People with disabilities (PWD) are at risk for poor health due, in part, to limited access to health-related services including access to relevant health promotion and education information and programming. Research indicates that inadequate knowledge, poor attitudes, and low self-efficacy among health professionals limits their ability to effectively work with this population. Purpose: This study assessed knowledge and attitudes about disabilities and identified factors that impact self-efficacy toward PWD among college students enrolled in health promotion and education courses at a large Midwestern university. Methods: Data from a prior unpublished pilot survey study was utilized. The pilot assessed disability-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, self-efficacy, and intentions among 146 college students enrolled in health education courses. Results: Multivariate analyses revealed that self-efficacy was influenced by attitudes but not by knowledge, sex, education level, major, or experience with disability. More specifically, students who had more positive attitudes toward PWD reported feeling significantly more confident in performing disability-related activities than students who had negative attitudes toward PWD. Discussion: Study findings and the recommendations provided should be considered when creating curricula and professional development opportunities to improve disability awareness and competence among health educators. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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