Public attitudes towards autism in Nigeria: the role of awareness, knowledge and other explanatory factors of autism stigma
AuthorsAdejumoke, Awosanya A.
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AbstractThe study aimed to examine attitudes, awareness, and knowledge levels of autism among the Nigerian general public. It also assessed the theoretical explanatory drivers of autism stigma in Nigeria and create a theoretical model explaining the relationships between autism stigma and the theoretical drivers. This study employed two distinct methods but sequential in approach. The first phase involved a systematic scoping review (SSR) of autism stigma research in Africa. Twelve articles met the inclusion criteria, and the articles reported autism stigma data from six different countries: Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya Coast, Nigeria, and South Africa. Ten studies reported on the types of autism stigma identified among the various populations under study; public stigma, self-stigma, and secondary stigma (stigma by association) were consistent across articles. Seven studies reported on the degree and levels of autism stigma and all the studies reported low levels of awareness and stigmatising attitudes within the different study populations. All the articles included in the SSR highlight one or more factors that may influence autism stigma within the context of their studies. Across all studies, factors associated with autism stigma include culture, knowledge, awareness, geographical location, religion, experience, gender, age, beliefs, and education. The second phase was a pilot study carried out to test the data collection instrument and procedure. The pilot study involved 48 Nigerians living in the UK, and generally, participants were well satisfied with the administration process and questionnaire. The final phase was the cross-sectional quantitative data collection, involving a structured, questionnaire survey tool (n=312). Over half of the study participants had higher knowledge and awareness score (54.2%), yet 66.6% of the study participants had higher stigma scores. The analysis identified a statistical relationship between age, geographical location, religion, religiosity, and knowledge and awareness. However, only knowledge and awareness were significantly correlated with autism stigma. Overall, the quantitative findings supported the SSR results but also revealed some added theoretical insight. Based on the findings from this study, a new theoretical model that explains the relationship between autism stigma, significant sociodemographic variables, autism knowledge and awareness within the context of this study was developed. The study also discusses the methodological issues and limitations associated with data collection in Nigeria.
CitationAdejumoke A. A. (2021) 'Public Attitudes Towards Autism in Nigeria: The Role of Awareness, Knowledge and Other Explanatory Factors of Autism Stigma'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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