Markus GEBHARDT, Julio G MORA, Susanne SCHWAB


Introduction: Stereotypes can be reduced through positive descriptions. A stigma that able-bodied adults have towards children with physical disability can be reduced when the child is portrayed as being active. The study found out that a sporty active child, who uses a wheelchair, is perceived as more competent than the sporty active able-bodied child.

Objective: This study is a replica study to support the hypotheses and to examine the stereotypes of able-bodied adults towards children with and without (physical) disabilities.

Methods: This study presents two experimental replica studies using a 2 (physical activity) x 2 (sporty activities). The dependent variables were the perception of competencies and warmth according to Stereotype Content Model (SCM). Study 1 is an online experiment with 355 students of the Open University of Hagen. Study 2 surveys 1176 participants (fromMunich andGraz) with a paper-pencil-questionnaire.

Results:The significant interaction effect was not supported by our studies. 

The sporty able-bodied child was rated higher in competences than the sporty child, who use a wheelchair. Sporting activity only reduces the stigma towards children with a physical disability slightly.

Conclusion: The stigma towards children with physical disability can be reduced when the child is portrayed as being active, but the effect was not strong enough to chance the original classification by the SCM.


physical disability; stigma; sport; stereo content model; replica study

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