A Quantitative Study Of Community College Students' Disability Stigma
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentCommunity College Leadership Program
ProgramDoctor of Education
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The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether selected demographic variables (gender, race) relate to students' perceived disability stigma as measured by the PSSDS within the Maryland Community College system when controlling for grade point average (GPA). Data from the Postsecondary-Related Student Survey of Disability-Related Stigma (PSSDS) provided insight into disabled students and the effect of perceived stigma in their academic experience. Data from the PSSDS were analyzed to address five research questions related to the areas associated with the PSSDS stigma score. Perceived stigma factor areas included in the research were Academic Success, Peer Relationships, Sense of Self and Identity, and Global Awareness. SPSS was used to conduct the analysis. Descriptive statistics and ANCOVA were conducted. Results revealed higher Perceptions of Disability Stigma for female students with disabilities than their male counterparts across all community colleges. Female students with disabilities were found to have higher Perceptions of Self and Identity across all community colleges and at Community Colleges A and B. Across all community colleges and at Community College B, female students with disabilities' Perceptions of Academic Success were higher. Finally, female students with disabilities' Perceptions of Quality of Peer Relationships and Perceptions of Quality of Global Awareness and Concern for Disability Related Issues at Community College B were higher than their male counterparts. Black students with disabilities had higher Perceptions of Self and Identity across all community colleges and at Community Colleges A and C. The results of the study have contributed information to the literature about stigma as experienced by students in selected community colleges. Grade point average (GPA) was used as a control variable in this study because of its association with academic performance and how it measured the effect on the selected demographic variables (gender, race) as they relate to students' perceived disability. The covariant variable of GPA had statistically significant results in four of the five research questions all except Quality of Peer Relationships associated with the PSSDS stigma score.