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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Neighbourhood attitudes toward group homes for adults with a mental handicap Love, Rosemary


This study investigated neighbourhood attitudes toward people with mental handicaps. It examined the public's knowledge about mental handicaps and collected demographic information about the respondents. A total of three hundred households were surveyed, seventy-five in each of four areas in Vancouver, B.C. Each area was divided into immediate, intermediate and distant neighbours, centred around a group home. The research questions investigated the influence of factual knowledge, proximity and the amount of contact with people who have a mental handicap and demographic, factors on neighbours' attitudes towards adults with a mental handicap. Descriptive statistical and ANOVA procedures were conducted. The results did not produce statistically significant evidence to answer the research questions. However, two moderate trends were detected. Immediate and intermediate proximity groups showed slightly more tolerant attitudes than the distant neighbours. Respondents with higher amounts of contact with people who have mental handicaps scored higher on the attitude scales, but not at statistically significant levels. There is a discussion of the implications of the study and suggestions for further research.

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