Parents' responses to toys representing physical impairment
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Jones, S., Ali, L., Bhuyan, M., Dalnoki, L., Kaliff, A., Muir, W., Uusitalo, K. & Uytman, C. (2020) Parents' responses to toys representing physical impairment. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (In Press).
This study aimed to look at parents’ perceptions of a number of different toy prototypes that represented physical impairments, and predictors of these perceptions. 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 towards children with disabilities, and of their own, and their child’s, direct contact with people with disabilities It was found that, among parents of children who did not declare that their child had a disability, the more open the parents were towards 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. These findings have implications for theories informing the positive benefits of disability representation. These findings indicate different paths through which parents might be moved to purchase toys that represent physical impairments for their children. This is the first study of the responses of parents to toys that represent physical impairments known to the authors.