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POSHA (Other Attributes)




A study comparing attitudes of stuttering with those of cluttering was carried out in four countries, USA, Russia, Turkey, and Bulgaria, in their native languages (St. Louis, Filatova, Coskun, Topbas, Ozdemir, Georgieva, McCaffrey, & George, 2010). The procedure differed from previous pilot studies in that lay definitions of cluttering and stuttering were provided. Attitudes toward cluttering were remarkably similar to those for stuttering, even though respondents indicated less knowledge, and different sources of knowledge, about cluttering than for stuttering. This study is currently being replicated in Norway and China in such a way as to determine the extent, if any, that attitudes toward one fluency disorder affects attitudes toward the other.

In the general section of nearly all pilot studies for the POSHA-S asked respondents to rate their reactions to a number of attributes ranging from negative to neutral to positive. In addition to the attributes of mental illness and obesity, the pilot studies included overall impression of, wanting to be, knowledge of, and persons known with left handedness and intelligence (e.g., St. Louis, 2005; St. Louis, Lubker, et al., 2008). Initial pilot studies had detailed sections on using a wheelchair, being old, being multilingual, and being a good talker, and a few studies asked respondents to fill out sections on epilepsy, alcohol abuse, and HIV/AIDS.

In general, the results confirmed that alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS evoke negative attitudes from the public. Epilepsy is also quite negative. Being old is negative but near neutral, and left-handedness is generally regarded quite neutral. Being a good talker is positive but not as positive as being multilingual or intelligent. In the case of the positive attributes, some item wording was changed from negative to positive, e.g., from “concern or worry” about someone having the attribute to “being pleased” about the prospect.

Stakeholders may be interesting in adapting the POSHA as a standard measure of one of these or other attributes. If so, they are encouraged to contact the author.