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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 67 / 161

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were mailed a study packet. Forty (40) were returned as undeliverable and 165 of the remaining 480 (34%) were included in the study.

The study packet included directions for completing the study, a 2 page questionnaire (including the demographic data collection sheet and the ATLG Scale), and a postage paid envelope for return of the survey. As explained in the directions included in the study packet, completion and return of the survey indicates informed consent for participation. The survey instrument was specifically designed to assess attitudes toward gays and lesbians among heterosexuals (Herek, 1984, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1994). Although disclosure of a homosexual or bisexual orientation was exclusionary for the study, the data analysis indicated this was a non-significant variable. This variable was eventually removed from the structural equation model used for this study.

The respondents’ identities were kept anonymous; no identifiers were used during the data collection or analyses. Participants could choose to withdraw from the study at any time; returned surveys were indicative of informed consent. Individual raw data were read only by the researcher. Confidentiality was maintained by locking the questionnaires in a research office.

Treatment of the Data Data were analyzed through the use of descriptive, correlational, and comparative statistics. Descriptive

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