A Psychometric Re-Analysis of the Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale

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Drawing upon existing theory and research on attitudes towards people with disabilities, Gething (1991) used Australian samples to develop the Interaction with Disabled Persons (IDP) Scale, which reflects four key attitude components (e.g., fear of becoming disabled). The IDp scale was used with a sample of 231 Canadian management undergraduates to examine the IDP scale's psychometric properties; to test Gething's (1994) six-factor model; and to test MacLean and Gannon's (1995) two-factor model using confirmatory factor analysis. Overall, the findings did not support the six- or two-factor models. There was poor to moderate internal consistency reliability for most scales, and small social desirability effects. These results show that further refinement to the IDP scale is required to improve its factor structure, internal consistency reliability, and to minimize correlations with social desirability.


En se fondant sur la theorie et A la recherche existantes portant sur les attitudes envers les personnes handicapees, Gething (1991) a eu recours A des echantillons australiens afin d'elaborer son echelle d'interaction avec les personnes handicapees [Interaction with Disabled Persons (IDP)], qui fait ressortir quatre elements cles de l'attitude (p. ex., la peur de dever handicapS). Cette echelle d'interaction avec les personnes handicapees a ete soumise A un echantillon de 231 etudiants canadiens de niveau universitaire afin d'en etudier, tout d'abord, les proprietes psychometriques, de verifier le modele A six facteurs etabli par Gething (1994), et enfin, de verifier le modele A deux facteurs elabore par MacLean et Gannon (1995), A Faide d'une analyse factorielle confirmatoire. Dans l'ensemble, les resultats n'ont pas soutenu les modeles A deux et a six facteurs. Pour la plupart des echelles, on a note une fidelite de coherence interne de faible A moderee, et peu d'effets au niveau de la desirabilite sociale. Nos conclusions demontrent qu'il est necessaire de preciser cette echelle d'interaction avec les personnes handicapees (IDP) afin d'en ameliorer la structure factorielle et la fidelite de coherence interne, et d'en reduire les correlations avec la desirabilite sociale.

There has been much interest in measuring attitudes toward persons with disabilities, with the Attitude Toward Disabled Persons Scale (ATDP: Yuker, Block, & Young, 1970) being, perhaps, the most widely used measure in this field. More recently, Gething (1991) initiated development of the Interaction with Disabled Persons (IDP) Scale in Australia in 1980 with 633 participants and a panel of 40 subject-matter experts. According to Gething and Wheeler (1992), "The IDP scale was designed to measure discomfort in social interactions as a central factor underlying negative attitudes and is predicted to be closely related to familiarity or level of contact with people with disabilities" (p. 76). The scale was repeatedly revised based upon the psychometric results from several independent samples between 1981 and 1983. The final version of the scale consists of 20 items (e.g., #6: I feel ignorant about disabled people) with a 6-point response scale ranging from Agree very much to Disagree very much. There is no mid- or neutral-point on the response scale. The manual (Gething, 1991) reports internal consistency reliabilities in the .74 to .86 range for some 15 samples (Table 6.2, p. 21) and normative data for several relevant demographic variables such as education, age, occupational status, age, and sex. For example, Gething (1991) found that those with lower levels of education experienced greater discomfort in their interactions than those with higher levels of education. He (Gething, 1991) also found that younger adults experienced more negative attitudes than older adults. Gething (1991) reported that managers showed more discomfort than professionals. MacLean and Gannon (1995) reported that male undergraduates reported more discomfort than female undergraduates in their contacts with persons with disabilities. …