Do epistemological beliefs and ways of knowing predict reactions to a child with Asperger Syndrome?
This study explored the relationship between epistemological beliefs, ways of knowing, parenting styles, and how one reacts to a child with Asperger Syndrome acting out in public. The purpose was to determine whether or not epistemological beliefs, ways of knowing, and parenting style could be used to predict how an individual would respond in such a situation. The epistemological beliefs looked at were certain knowledge and omniscient authority. Ways of knowing were classified as connected knowing and separate knowing. Parenting styles were categorized as authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Two hundred and nine college students between the ages of 19 and 55 participated in the study, coming from both a mediumsized metropolitan university in the Midwest and a medium-sized university on the west coast. The participants completed the Epistemic Beliefs Inventory questions pertaining to certain knowledge and omniscient authority (Schraw, Bendixen, & Dunkle, 2002), the Attitudes Toward Thinking and Learning Survey (Galotti, Clinchy, Ainsworth, Lavin, & Mansfield, 1999), the Parental Authority Questionnaire – Revised (Reitman, Rhode, Hupp, & Altobello, 2002), demographic questions, and responded to a scenario involving a child with Asperger Syndrome. People who gave appropriate advice had higher scores in connected knowing than people who gave inappropriate advice, suggesting that higher levels of connected knowing lead to more appropriate reactions to such situations. An ancillary analysis revealed that authoritative parenting, separate knowing, and certain knowledge are related to connected knowing. Future research is suggested to explore those relationships.
Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. Counseling, Educational and School Psychology.