Children's attitudes to disability

The association between children's contact with people with disabilities and their attitudes towards disability: a systematic review.
Megan MacMillan

The aim was to examine whether children’s contact with disabled people is related to more positive attitudes towards disability.
This type of research is a systematic review. Systematic reviews bring together the results of all studies addressing a particular research question. They provide a comprehensive and impartial summary of research evidence.
There were 35 studies in the review:
  • 22 studies found that children with more contact had better attitudes towards disability
  • 11 studies found no link
  • 2 studies found that contact was associated with negative attitudes. 
Many studies failed to report adequate details about their methods and results. This makes it difficult to be confident about the findings.
This review shows the need for more rigorous studies to explore the relationship between children’s contact with disabled people and their attitudes towards disability.
Mac Keith Press publishes two series of books: the Clinics in Developmental Medicine and the International Reviews of Child Neurology Series for the International Child Neurology Association.