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DBR2 Publications

We are pleased to share our published work. Please contact the PIs if you would like a full-text PDF of this work.

Levine, A., Park, J.,& Kuo, H.J.(2020). Understanding biases in undergraduate rehabilitation students: An exploratory study. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 64(3), 172-180. 

Shaping and cultivating positive attitudes toward people with disabilities is an important task for all programs that prepare future rehabilitation practitioners. So too, is identifying potentially problematic attitudes or biases about ability status. With the growth of undergraduate rehabilitation programs, it is imperative for educators to understand the factors that may influence students’ biases about people with differing ability status. Many training programs address explicit biases (e.g., those measured via self report), but overlook the influence and existence of implicit biases among students. Furthermore, many trainings focus on stimulating awareness of potential bias, rather than diving into causes and impacts. In order to develop effective curricula for mitigating bias and training infused with social justice, it is critical to understand this phenomena. Using a quantiative design, the current study examines explicit and implicit biases of students in undergraduate rehabilitation programs at three institutions across the United States. Results support that explicit and implicit biases are two separate constructs and should be treated as such (i.e., educational activities about bias are not sufficient). In addition, the results were indicative of the importance of addressing biases as multidimensional, and the potential utility of contact experiences as a factor for mitigating bias.


Kuo, H. J., Levine, A., & Park, J (in review). The effect of education and contact experiences on disability explicit and implicit biases.

Purpose/Objective: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the impact of education and contact experiences on implicit and explicit biases about disability. Research Method/Design: The current study used a quantitative, cross-sectional design to collect data on the implicit and explicit biases of a sample of undergraduate students enrolled in Rehabilitation and Human Services programs (n = 94). Results: Results indicate that contact experiences had a statistically significant and bidirectional moderating effect on implicit and explicit biases about disability in the sample. Conclusions and Implications: Depending on students’ level of implicit biases, the contact experiences with disabled people may influence differently on their explicit biases toward people with disabilities. The current study provides a moderation model for future exploration and research.  

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