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Factually based autism awareness campaigns may not always be effective in changing attitudes towards autism: evidence from British and South Korean nursing students

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This study explored the relationship between autism knowledge, autistic traits, frequency of contact with autistic people and attitudes towards these individuals in British and South Korean student nurses and whether these relationships were affected by the presence of autistic traits. In total, 331 participants (156 South Korean and 175 British) completed self-report measures of autism knowledge, attitudes towards autistic people, frequency of contact with these individuals and autistic traits. Although British participants demonstrated greater knowledge and more favourable attitudes, significant knowledge deficiencies were noted in both groups. Among British participants, knowledge was found to be a significant, but a very marginal, predictor of attitudes, whereas neither knowledge nor frequency of contact were predictive of attitudes among South Korean participants. Contrary to previous research findings, cultural differences in the presence of autistic traits were not noted, nor were these traits found to correlate with attitudes towards autistic people. The findings suggest that awareness initiatives which aim to address attitudes towards autism need more than simply increasing factual knowledge. More importantly, the results suggest that Western-developed autism awareness initiatives may be ineffectual if cultural idiosyncrasies are not considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1190
Number of pages14
JournalAutism
Volume24
Issue number5
Early online date20 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

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  • Factually based autism

    Rights statement: Mac Cárthaigh, S., & López, B. Factually based autism awareness campaigns may not always be effective in changing attitudes towards autism: evidence from British and South Korean nursing students. Autism. 24(5), pp.1177-1190. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). DOI: 10.1177/1362361319898362.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 331 KB, PDF document

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