This article is based on the author's dissertation at the University of Maryland. She would like to thank her advisor, Judson Mills, for his supervision of this research and for his helpful comments on the present manuscript.
The Effectiveness of Strategies for Increasing Social Interaction with a Physically Disabled Person1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 147–161, April 1984
How to Cite
Belgrave, F. Z. (1984), The Effectiveness of Strategies for Increasing Social Interaction with a Physically Disabled Person. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 14: 147–161. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1984.tb02227.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
The effectiveness of strategies a physically disabled person can use to increase a nondisabled person's willingness to engage in social interaction were investigated. In the strategies, the disabled person engages in behavior demonstrating that he/she is not preoccupied with the disability.
Female college students chose the amount of time to be spent listening to music versus social interaction before and after learning that the other was a disabled male. The subject witnessed via “closed circuit” TV (actually a videotape) a brief interaction between the male and another female in the waiting room from which the subject had just come. In the Interest in others condition, the male encouraged the female to talk about herself. In the Typical activities condition, the male mentioned he had to pick up tickets, organize a party, and study for an exam. In the Athletic activities condition, the male mentioned he went swimming and bowling. In the Request condition, the male asked the female to pick up a paper he had dropped. In the Control condition, there was limited interaction. In the Inappropriate communication condition, the male mentioned the same activities as in the Typical activities condition but talked continuously without waiting for polite interest from the female.
Changes in preference for social interaction were significantly more positive in the Attentive to others, Typical activities and Athletic activities conditions than in the Control conditions. It was concluded that demonstrating interest in others, typical activities and athletic activities are effective strategies.