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Parents’ Education Shapes, but Does Not Originate, the Disability Representations of Their Children

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The present research tested whether children's disability representations are influenced by cultural variables (e.g., social activities, parent education, custom complex variables) or by cognitive constraints. Four questionnaires were administered to a sample of 76 primary school aged children and one of their parents (n = 152). Questionnaires included both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The open-ended questions were created to collect uncensored personal explanations of disability, whereas the closed-ended questions were designed to elicit a response of agreement for statements built on the basis of the three most widespread disability models: individual, social, and biopsychosocial. For youngest children (6-8 years old), people with disabilities are thought of as being sick. This early disability representation of children is consistent with the individual model of disability and independent from parents' disability explanations and representations. As children grow older (9-11 years old), knowledge regarding disability increases and stereotypical beliefs about disability decrease, by tending to espouse their parents representations. The individual model remains in the background for the adults too, emerging when the respondents rely on their most immediately available mental representation of disability such as when they respond to an open-ended question. These findings support that the youngest children are not completely permeable to social representations of disability likely due to cognitive constraints. Nevertheless, as the age grows, children appear educable on perspectives of disability adhering to a model of disability representation integral with social context and parent perspective.
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... Such attitudes and stereotypes are the results of two pervasive and interrelated misconceptions (myths), which very often influence human thinking and behaviour: bodily perfection [6] and asexuality [7][8][9][10]. These two myths arise from a disability model that is often known as the medical model of disability [11,12], whereby people are deemed disabled due to their medical condition or impairment [13,14]. Therefore, disability is understood as an individual inability to conform to a standard of normality, namely when the abnormality occurs within the person [15], making him/her different from the majority of people [16]. ...
... Another signal that the medical disability model might act as an innate psychological mechanism below the two cultural constructs of bodily perfection and asexuality, as a cognitive constraint [30], is the occurrence of disability explanation compatible with the medical model early in childhood [31][32][33], independent of parents' disability representations and explanations [13]. ...
... However, it is known that parents have a role in shaping their children's attitudes towards disability. Meloni et al. (2015), ...
... However, the link between openness, friendship intentions and representative toys is one that merits future research attention, regarding the ways in which toys that represent Kim (2002) and Flom and Johnson (2010), extending this research by applying it to the realm of disability. In this way, these findings extend the work of Meloni et al. (2015) who showed that parental understandings of disability are reflected in their children. Here, evidence is in line with the imagined contact hypothesis, that the amount of direct contact a child has been afforded with children with impairments, is linked to parental responses to toys that represent impairment (and therefore, the toys' likely availability to their children). ...
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Purpose This study aimed to look at parents' perceptions of a number of different toy prototypes that represented physical impairments and predictors of these perceptions. Design/methodology/approach A correlational survey design was used. Parents of children aged 4–10 years who identified their child as having a disability ( n = 160) and not as having a disability ( n = 166) took part. They rated a number of prototypes for likelihood that their child would enjoy playing with them and completed measures of their responses toward children with disabilities and of their own and their child's direct contact with people with disabilities. Findings It was found that, among parents of children who did not declare that their child had a disability, the more open the parents were toward disability, the more contact the children had with other children with disabilities and the more likely they were to consider that their child would like to play with a toy prototype representing a physical impairment. This pattern of results was not found among parents who identified their child as having a disability, where instead positive friendship intentions of parents mediated this association. Research limitations/implications These findings have implications for theories informing the positive benefits of disability representation. Practical implications These findings indicate different paths through which parents might be moved to purchase toys that represent physical impairments for their children. Social implications These findings suggest that representative toys might be associated with an open dialogue around the topic of disability. Originality/value This is the first study of the responses of parents to toys that represent physical impairments known to the authors.
... Such attitudes and stereotypes are the results of two pervasive and interrelated misconceptions (myths), which very often influence human thinking and behavior: bodily perfection [6] and asexuality [7][8][9][10]. These two myths arise from a disability model that is often known as the medical model of disability [11,12], whereby people are deemed disabled due to their medical condition or impairment [13,14]. Therefore, disability is understood as an individual inability to conform to a standard of normality, namely when the abnormality occurs within the person [15], making him/ her different from the majority of people [16]. ...
... Another signal that the medical disability model might act as an innate psychological mechanism below the two cultural constructs of bodily perfection and asexuality, as a cognitive constraint [30], is the occurrence of disability explanation compatible with the medical model early in childhood [31][32][33], independent of parents' disability representations and explanations [13]. ...
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People with paraplegia have to fight their own and societal attitudes and stereotypes that reduce sexuality to the physiological functions of genitalia. These psychological and social limitations arise from cultural and disability models that focus sexual pleasure on phallocentric primacy, and sexual attractiveness of perfect bodies. In this chapter, we evaluate the impacts of a psychoeducational intervention in a personal growth group on the sexual life of two groups of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their partners, throughout their sexual interest and satisfaction , depression, and anxiety. In the first study, nonparametric statistical tests were used to compare pre-and post-outcome measures for all participants. In the second study, the grounded theory was used to explore dialogs and activities that were audiotaped during the group meetings. The participants in both groups were patients and their partners. The psychoeducational intervention was clearly effective in increasing sexual interest and satisfaction as well as the motivation and ability to enjoy sexuality. Anxiety was minimized for all participants, although it may not have been associated with the psychoeducational intervention. In addition, the intervention significantly improved the partner and patient group's opportunity and ability to enjoy sexuality.
... individual differences 11 . These cognitive biases, although originating from cognitive human processes, nevertheless tend to be permeable to cultural environments that foster explicit structured schemes to make certain classifications perceptually salient 11,12 . In a previous study, Federici and colleagues 13 , investigating what influence human sexual characteristics and gender-linked characteristics binaries have on cognitive processes of sex attribution in adults, found that the cultural stereotypes and prejudices that affect sex attribution might not just be a mere cultural product, but rather the consequence of evolved cognitive mechanisms "specialized for solving evolutionarily long-enduring adaptive problems and that these mechanisms have content-specialized representational formats, procedures, cues, and so on" 1 . ...
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According to previous ethnomethodological and cognitive studies on sex assignment, if a figure has male sexual characteristics people are more likely to think it is a man than they think it is a woman when the figure has female sexual characteristics. This bias in favor of male attribution is strongly reinforced when a penis is apparent in human nude pictures. In our contribution, we reported findings of three experiments aimed at replicating previous studies by administering the Sex/Gender Attribution Test for Adult (SGAT-A) created by digitally morphing the bodies of one human male and one human female model into realistic pictures. We observed the sex attribution and response time of 1706 young adult participants. A cross-cultural comparison was also carried out with a sample of young adult Chinese students. Findings substantially reconfirmed those obtained in previous studies. The male external genitalia overshadow any other features that might rather suggest a female identity. Indeed, when male external genitalia were exposed, the odds of male sex attribution were 5.688 compared to 1.823 female attribution when female external genitalia were shown. Moreover, the shortest response times were observed with masculine stimuli. Evolutionary and cultural determinants of the male sex bias are also discussed.
... However, most of the Individuals with High Prevalence Disabilities do not perceive their sufferings and obstacles of life as appreciable as to express gratitude (Bunning, et al., 2017). They do not always consider their disability as guarantee to be awarded in the afterlife (Meloni, et al., 2015). Undoubtedly, the Individuals with High Prevalence Disabilities are troublesome as something wrong goes on in their normal procedures of growth and development (Smith & Williams, 2004). ...
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The Individuals with High Prevalence Disabilities can be more annoying, uncooperative, and difficult type of human beings as compared to any normal individual (Federici, et al., 2017). This ultimately raises the level of burden related to clinical and of functional variable of families with disabilities (Irazábal, et al., 2012). Major objectives of the study were to see the significant differences between parents' sufferings about children with High Prevalence Disabilities living in urban and rural areas, house wives or professional working mothers, their gender and qualification. A Sample of (N = 421) parents living in urban areas (N= 220) and rural areas (N = 201) was randomly taken from the province of Punjab, Pakistan. The researchers used self-developed research tool (reliable at Alpha= 0.93) to answer the questions of present study. The researchers in to two teams personally visited the parents and collected the data by translating the questionnaire in their native languages. The major findings confirmed that there are significant differences among all demographic variables such as gender, age, locality, and education of parents on enduring individuals with high prevalence disabilities in Punjab. It is recommended that awareness seminars and workshops should be conducted at all levels by the teachers to change negative attitudes of parents to endure their children with high prevalence disabilities.
... The community's perception must continue to be developed through outreach activities for parenting programs, and early childhood education seminars. On other hand, it supported by the research conducted by (Meloni et al., 2015)showed that The present research verified whether children's disability representations are influenced by cultural variables (social activities, parent education, and custom complex variables) or by cognitive constraints. At an early age, children have a disability representation characterized by a vision of the person with disability mainly as sick and whose diversity is strictly connected to health. ...
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The purpose of this study was to obtain information on understanding of early childhood education in coastal communities in the Buton Islands. This research uses descriptive qualitative research. The subjects in this study were teachers, and parents in the coastal district of Buton. Based on the results of the study, the coastal communities in the Buton Islands do not yet fully have knowledge about the nature of early childhood development. Based on the results of the study showed that parents could not distinguish between ECE and Kindergarten. Kindergarten in not part of ECE and so that in learning process, parents emphasis on academic achievement without providing the the character building. Parents only focus on on reading and writing without paying attention to aspects of moral and religious values, physical, motor, social, emotional. In the aspect of the role of involvement, it shows the lack of role as parents of students to be involved in the implementation of early childhood education including parenting program activities, volunteers, communication, collaboration and learning at home. Lack of understanding of coastal parents in Buton Islands towards the implementation of early childhood education, it is necessary for schools to involve families in educational programs in order to gain enlightenment and knowledge about early childhood education.
... They focus on perceptually salient attributes in people (race, sex, age, and attractiveness) and, due to their poor cognitive ability, children categorize them in bipolar terms, incapable of processing all the internal qualities of individual differences 11 . These cognitive biases, although originating from cognitive human processes, nevertheless tend to be permeable to cultural environments that foster explicit structured schemes to make certain classi cations perceptually salient 11,12 . ...
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According to previous ethnomethodological and cognitive studies on sex assignment, if a figure has male sexual characteristics people are more likely to think it is a man than a woman when the figure has female ones. This male attribution bias is definitely reinforced when a penis is apparent in human nude images. We reported findings of three experiments aimed at replicating previous studies by administering the Sex/Gender Attribution Test for Adult (SGAT-A) created by digitally morphing bodies of two human male and female models into realistic images. We observed the sex attribution and response time of 1,706 young adult participants. A cross-cultural comparison was also carried out with a sample of young adult Chinese students. Findings substantially reconfirmed those obtained in previous studies. When male external genitalia were exposed, the odds of male sex attribution were 5.688 compared to 1.823 female attribution when female external genitalia were shown. The male external genitalia overshadow any other features that might rather suggest a female identity. The shortest response times were observed with masculine stimuli. Evolutionary and cultural determinants of the male sex bias are discussed.
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