Amanda Perl

Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lynn Anderson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Vicki Wilkins, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Caroline Kaltefleiter, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to examine how clothing choices affect inclusion in leisure experiences. Specifically, the study examined how perceptions of people with and without disabilities in appropriate and inappropriate clothes affected the evaluation of their social roles in leisure activities. An original instrument consisting of photographs of models with and without disabilities in appropriate and inappropriate clothing was used to measure perceptions based on clothing. The researcher administered 73 surveys to the public at a local mall. Results were analyzed using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc t-tests. Results were significant at the .05 level and indicated that people with disabilities who were appropriately dressed were rated as holding highervalue social roles than people with disabilities who were inappropriately dressed. The study also showed that whether dressed appropriately or inappropriately, people without disabilities were regarded as holding higher-value social roles than people with disabilities. It was concluded that appropriate dress matters in perceptions of leisure roles, and dressing appropriately can help all people, particularly people with disabilities, be more included in leisure. People with disabilities and people in a position to help or influence them are encouraged to learn what current styles are and how to dress appropriately.