Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)


In the last 30 years, the number of students with disabilities served in a general education setting has increased due to growing support for inclusion (Manning, Bullock, & Gable, 2009). Because more students with disabilities are attending public schools and spending more time in the general education classroom, teachers must provide accommodations to meet the needs of students (Waldman, Perlman, & Garey, 2015). Chronic pain is a condition that has ramifications in and out of the classroom, and is commonly misunderstood by teachers. The purpose of the current study was to identify whether pre-service teachers have more negative attitudes toward students with chronic pain compared to students with either a well-known disorder (i.e., ADHD) or a serious medical condition (i.e., Sickle Cell Disease). Undergraduate elementary education majors read vignettes describing three children presenting with symptoms of chronic pain, ADHD, and Sickle Cell Disease. Participants then rated each of the three vignettes in terms of their concern for the child described. It was hypothesized that participants will have the most negative attitude regarding the child with chronic pain and be less likely to refer her for support services. The hypotheses were not supported, as pre-services teachers did not rate chronic pain more negatively than ADHD and SCD. However, pre-service teachers reported the desire for more training on mental health and medical concerns. These results highlight the need for additional training for pre-service teachers on the topics of chronic pain, childhood mental health and medical disorders, and inclusion.

Date of Award



Department of Psychology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


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