Parental Attitudes Toward Integration

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Recent studies concerning parental attitudes toward preschool mainstreaming indicate a favorable disposition toward this arrangement by parents of typical children and those of children with disabilities in mainstreamed settings. This study seeks to replicate and extend these findings. Discussed are the first-year results of a 5-year longitudinal study of parental attitudes toward mainstreaming in school-age programs. Surveyed were 230 parents. Results indicated that the parents, regardless of their child's preschool placement in a mainstreamed or segregated program, held very favorable opinions toward mainstreaming. However, the parents of typical children and the parents of children with disabilities in the mainstream settings indicated greater satisfaction with their child's involvement in a mixed grouping of children, and stronger opinion that this involvement influenced their child's development, than did their counterparts in the segregated settings. Correlations of these results with length of time in preschool and level of child functioning are also discussed.

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