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Perceptions of Anxiety, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Learning Disabilities

Hannah Burmeister and Dr. Mary Beth Leibham, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire, 105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

An increasing aspect of diversity in higher education is disability, with approximately 19% of college students reporting a disability (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015). In order to promote full inclusion of students with disabilities, it is important to understand how disability is perceived. Various studies have demonstrated that disability is not always perceived positively by college students and these perceptions may impact the persistence and satisfaction of students with disabilities (Fleming et al., 2017). Green (2007) found that college students tend to share a common perspective that feelings of sadness, pity, and awkwardness are often felt towards students with disabilities. It is likely that multiple factors such as faculty attitudes, availability of services, campus culture, and peer perceptions are associated with students’ with disabilities retention and completion rates.

The purpose of this study is to explore college students’ knowledge and perceptions of disabilities. Using an online Qualtrics survey methodology, college students’ knowledge and perceptions of three specific disabilities, namely anxiety disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Learning Disabilities (LD) will be examined.

We expect that individuals who report a closer relationship to someone with a disability will have more positive attitudes and more accurate knowledge about anxiety disorder, ADHD, and LD compared to students who don’t report a close relationship to someone with a disability. Additionally, we expect that students in human service majors such as psychology, education, and social work will also have more positive attitudes and more accurate knowledge about these disabilities compared to students in other majors.

We believe that this study will contribute to the existing disability research by expanding our awareness of disability attitudes and knowledge among college students.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Hannah Burmeister

Institution: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7104