Implicit Attitudes and Their Affect on Autism in the Church
Abstract: Given the rising prevalence of autism in the United States, this research explored data from 330 volunteer and paid children’s ministry workers to determine their attitudes toward children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the extent (if any) to which those attitudes might be correlated to the availability and sophistication (or lack thereof) of ASD accommodated ministry efforts. The sample group expressed significantly higher social distance preferences for children with ASD (indicating a statistically significant preference not to engage these children in ministry). Lastly, social distance attitudes were significantly correlated to the presence and sophistication of ASD accommodated ministry at the churches where the sample group members worshiped and served.
Dr. Brian Haack currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Moore Graduate School of Education at Piedmont International University in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He is currently developing a book manuscript for publication while seeking a full-time academic appointment.