The German Multidimensional Attitude Scale Toward Persons With Disabilities (G-MAS): A Factor Analytical Study Among High-School Students

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Abstract

Objective: This study investigates the psychometric properties of the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS) among German 10th graders, to advance knowledge about the situation in German classrooms with regard to attitudes toward persons with disabilities. Method: Four hundred twenty-one German 10th graders attending the most common regular schools of the German educational system completed the MAS. Confirmatory factor analyses, multigroup confirmatory factor analyses, multivariate analyses of variance and model based clustering were used to investigate: the factor structure, invariance of the factor structure across gender and school types, differences on the MAS between gender and school types, and the existence of groups of students with different attitudes. Results: The authors reject previously proposed measurement models of the MAS, based on inadequate model fit. They identify a factor structure of the MAS with good model fit, the German MAS (G-MAS). The G-MAS, like 2 recently reported factor structures, assesses 4 dimensions: behavioral avoidance, positive cognitions, and 2 affective dimensions—calm and negative affect. The G-MAS is invariant across gender, but not across school types. The authors find no differences on these dimensions between students from different types of schools, but there are gender differences. Conclusions: Findings are discussed in light of the outcome that, of the studied sample, less than 1/3 of the students clearly expresses positive attitudes toward persons with disabilities.

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