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Attitudes of Japanese Adults toward Persons with Intellectual Disability: Comparisons over Time and Across Countries

By: Toshiaki Tachibana and Kanji Watanabe

Abstract: Eleven elementary schools were selected randomly from a typical medium sized city of Japan. Parents of pupils who were attending the schools were surveyed. A small proportion of agreement with, "The reality of lives of persons with intellectual disability (ID) should be told more widely to the public" was interpreted as a typical Japanese response. Agreement with accountability for care for persons with ID is on the side of the family was unexpectedly high. Persons with ID's "having a normal life in a community" did not get much agreement. This indicates that the idea of normalization is not necessarily well rooted in Japan. Results were compared with results of two studies conducted about 40 and 20 years ago in Japan, indicating that attitude toward persons with ID has improved greatly over the years. Results were also compared with results of three studies performed in the US.
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