This study aims to investigate the effect of observer's gender and target's gender on attitudes toward people who use wheelchairs due to a physical disability. Four hundred four Jewish Israeli students without disabilities completed the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons With Disabilities (MAS). Initially, confirmatory factor analysis was used to revalidate the MAS. Five factors of attitudes were confirmed: distancing behaviors, positive cognitions, negative emotions, interpersonal stress, and calm. Findings showed that an encounter with a person using a wheelchair raised more positive cognitions and less distancing behaviors, but also evoked more negative emotions, than an encounter with a person without a disability. In the case of an encounter with a person without a disability, men contributed to greater interpersonal stress among women, whereas women contributed to greater interpersonal stress among men. The multidimensional approach revealed that the effect of gender was mostly salient with regard to interpersonal stress.
- Wheelchair users