This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2010
Published 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
Volume 152A, Issue 9, pages 2185–2192, September 2010
How to Cite
Pace, J. E., Shin, M. and Rasmussen, S. A. (2010), Understanding attitudes toward people with Down syndrome. Am. J. Med. Genet., 152A: 2185–2192. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33595
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How to cite this article: Pace JE, Shin M, Rasmussen SA. 2010. Understanding attitudes toward people with Down syndrome. Am J Med Genet Part A 152A:2185–2192.
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 31 DEC 2009
- Down syndrome;
- intellectual disabilities
Understanding attitudes of the public toward people with Down syndrome is important because negative attitudes might create barriers to social integration, which can affect their success and quality of life. We used data from two 2008 U.S. surveys (HealthStyles© survey of adults 18 years or older and YouthStyles© survey of youth ages 9–18) that asked about attitudes toward people with Down syndrome, including attitudes toward educational and occupational inclusion and toward willingness to interact with people with Down syndrome. Results showed that many adults continue to hold negative attitudes toward people with Down syndrome: A quarter of respondents agreed that students with Down syndrome should go to special schools, nearly 30% agreed that including students with Down syndrome in typical educational settings is distracting, and 18% agreed that persons with Down syndrome in the workplace increase the chance for accidents. Negative attitudes were also held by many youth: 30% agreed that students with Down syndrome should go to separate schools, 27% were not willing to work with a student with Down syndrome on a class project, and nearly 40% indicated they would not be willing to spend time with a student with Down syndrome outside of school. Among both adult and youth, female sex and respondents with previous relationships with people with Down syndrome were consistently associated with more positive attitudes. These results may be helpful in the development of educational materials about Down syndrome and in guiding policies on educational and occupational inclusion. Published 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.