THE CORRELATION BETWEEN SOCIAL DISTANCE TOWARDS PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES AND EMPATHY IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION STUDENTS

Authors

  • Šeatović Stevan

Keywords:

Attitudes, Social distance, Empathy, Special education and rehabilitation

Abstract

Social distance toward people with intellectual disabilities and empathy are important aspects of study for future special educators and rehabilitators. Special educators and rehabilitators should show a lower social distance toward people with intellectual disabilities and a high empathy index. The main goal of this research is to examine the correlation between social distance toward people with intellectual disabilities and empathy, as well as differences in the manifestation of social distance and empathy concerning the year of study. The sample consisted of 60 students divided into two subgroups: 30 students in lower years of study (first and the second year) and 30 students in higher years of study (third and fourth year). Three scales were used: The Social Distance subscale from the Mental Retardation Attitude Inventor-Revised (MRAI-R), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and the General Questionnaire. The research results showed that students in special education and rehabilitation show a low social distance toward people with intellectual disabilities, and students with higher years of study show less social distance compared to students with lower years of study. Students manifest a high index of empathy, and there are no differences concerning the year of study. There is no correlation between social distance toward people with intellectual disabilities and empathy among special education and rehabilitation students. The results indicate the need to analyze content and the hours of practical classes in the faculty study program, and to include content that will encourage the strengthening of empathy among students.

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Published

2023-01-19

How to Cite

Šeatović Stevan. (2023). THE CORRELATION BETWEEN SOCIAL DISTANCE TOWARDS PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES AND EMPATHY IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION STUDENTS. Research in Education and Rehabilitation, 5(2), 60–71. Retrieved from https://rer.ba/index.php/rer/article/view/93
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