Nava R. SILTON*1 & Joshua FOGEL2
1Marymount Manhattan College, New York, USA
2Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, USA
This experimental study examined the potential additive benefit of peer strategies (PS) and strengths information (SI) over descriptive and explanatory (D+E) information in enhancing typical children’s behavioral intentions and cognitive attitudes towards children with autism. Participants were 158 typical students from fourth, fifth and sixth grades who were assigned to groups viewing videos about autism: Video I (D+E), Video II (D+E+PS), Video III (D+E+SI) or Video IV (D+E+PS+SI). Analyses indicated significant differences in positive behavioral intentions but no attitude differences after watching the videos. Participants who viewed videos incorporating peer strategies (Videos II and IV) had significantly greater positive behavioral intentions than those who viewed the video incorporating strengths information (Video III). Video interventions can help enhance typical children’s behavioral intentions towards children with autism.
Keywords: autistic disorder, attitude, intentions, peer group, schools