Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Mary Ann Goodwyn


The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of information and brief personal contact with individuals with a cleft lip and/or palate (CLP). One hundred and eighty-nine children (n = 78) and young adults (n = 111) participated in the study. A modified version of the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS) was used to measure the participants attitudes toward individuals with CLP. Using mixed multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), it was found that children's attitudes were significantly improved by information and contact with individuals with CLP, and these findings supported previous research. Within the young adult cohort, however, findings were inconsistent with prior research in that information and contact did not significantly affect their attitudes. There were no significant differences in attitudes between the age cohorts; however, data suggests that the children responded differently to the experimental intervention. Age differences in response to experimental intervention were interpreted using the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) and the theory of child suggestibility. Future research would help substantiate the current findings and broaden our understanding of the attitudes of non-clefted individuals toward individuals with cleft-lip and palate.