Attitudes of Students towards Peers with Disability in an Inclusive School in Nigeria
Purpose: The majority of children and young people with disabilities live in developing countries where they face inequalities in education and other opportunities. Negative attitudes constitute one of the major barriers to the development of their potential. This study aimed to describe the attitudes of students without disability towards their peers with disability, and to assess the role that gender and interpersonal contact play in shaping these attitudes.
Method: A cross-sectional study involving 107 students was carried out at an inclusive secondary school located in a peri-urban area in South Western Nigeria.
Participants were recruited from a group of 118 students in the three junior classes and senior class one (JSS 1 to SSS 1). A semi-structured questionnaire containing items on the “Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes Towards Children with Handicaps (CATCH) scale”, which elicits responses on a Likert scale numbered 0 to 4 (0-strongly disagree, 4-strongly agree), was administered. Data analysis was done using Stata version 12. Descriptive analysis was carried out and association between variables was determined using independent two-tailed t-tests.
Results: The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the scale was 0.83. The attitudes of students in the school were generally positive (M = 22.55, SD = 3.79). Female students had higher total scores (M = 24.76, SD = 2.78) than their male contemporaries (M = 19.84, SD = 3.05), t (103) = 8.55, p = .000. Having a friend/relative with a disability was associated with more positive attitudes among female students.
Conclusions: In this inclusive setting, the attitudes of students towards their peers with disability were generally positive. Since interpersonal contact was associated with positive attitudes towards students with disabilities, interventions should be directed towards promoting interpersonal relationships in order to build an integrated society.
Ajuwon PA (2008). Inclusive education for students with disabilities in Nigeria: Benefits, challenges and policy implications. International Journal of Special Education; 23(3): 1-16
Allport G (1954). The nature of prejudice. Cambridge(MA): Addison-Wesley.
Beck AR, Fritz H, Keller A, Dennis M ( 2000). Attitudes of school-aged children towards their peers who use augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication; 16: 13-26
Christensen C (1996). Disabled, handicapped or disordered: `What's in a name?' . In: F. R. C Christensen, ed. Disability and the dilemmas of education and justice . Buckingham: Open University Press; 63-77
Eagly A, Chaiken S (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth ( TX): Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Feldman R (1993). Understanding psychology. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Gaad E (2004). Cross-cultural perspectives on the effect of cultural attitudes towards inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities. International Journal of Inclusive Education; 8(3): 311-328
Garuba A (2003). Inclusive education in the 21st century: challenges and opportunities for Nigeria. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal; 14(2): 191-200
Godeau E, Vignes C, Sentenac M, Ehlinger V, Navarro F, Grandjean H, Arnaud C (2010). Improving attitudes towards children with disabilities in a school context: a cluster randomised intervention study. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology; October, 52(10): e236-242
Krajewski JJ, Hyde M, O'Keefe M (2002). Teen attitudes toward individuals with mental retardation from 1987 to 1998: Impact of respondent gender and school variables. Education & Training in Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities; 37: 27–39
Krajewski J J, Hyde S H (2000). Comparison of teen attitudes toward individuals with mental retardation between 1987 and 1998: Has inclusion made a difference?. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities; September, 35(3): 284–293
Lupua E, Cernatb C, Petrec C (2011). Identifying the attitude of healthy individuals towards disabled children – A chance to be educated for all. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences; 29: 266–271
Manetti M, Schneider BH, Siperstein G (2001). Social acceptance of children with mental retardation: Testing the contact hypothesis with an Italian sample. International Journal of Behavioural Development; 25: 279–286
McConkey R, McCormack B, Naughton M (1983). A national survey of young people’s perceptions of mental handicap. Journal of Mental Deficiency Research; 27(Pt 3): 171–83.
Okunrotifa E (1988). Handicapped students and educational services: Students’ attitudes and awareness. Nigerian Journal of Counselling and Development; 2: 34-39
Olofintoye T T (2010). Towards inclusion: the trends of psycho-social adjustment of students in Nigerian integrated junior secondary schools. Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences; 5: 1146–1150.
Pettigrew T, Tropp L (2006). A meta-analytic test of intergroup contact theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 90: 751–783
Rimmerman A, Hozmi B, Duvdevany I (2000). Contact and attitudes toward individuals with disabilities among students tutoring children with developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability; 25(1): 13–18
Rosenberg M (1960). Cognitive reorganisation in response to hypnotic reversal of attitudinal affect. Journal of Personality; 28: 39-63
Rosenbaum PL, Armstrong RW, King SM (1986). Children’s attitudes toward disabled peers: A self-report measure. Journal of Paediatric Psychology; 11(4): 517–530
Rosenbaum PL, Armstrong RW, King SM (1988). Determinants of children’s attitudes towards disability: A review of evidence. Care of Children’s Health; 17: 32-39
Rousso H (2003). Education for All: A gender and disability, New York: UNESCO
Tirosh E, Schanin M, Reiter S (1997). Children’s attitudes towards peers with disabilities: the Israeli perspective. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology; 39(12): 811-814
United Nations Children's Fund (2005). The state of world's children 2006: Excluded and invisible, New York: United Nations Children's Fund
Vignes C, Coley N, Grandiean H, Godeau E, Arnaud C (2008). Measuring children’s attitudes towards peers with disabilities: A review of instruments. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology; 50: 182–189
Wong DKP (2008). Do contacts make a difference? The effects of mainstreaming on student attitudes towards people with disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities; 29: 70–82
World Health Organisation (2001). The international classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva, World Health Organisation
World Health Organisation (2010). Community-based rehabilitation: CBR guidelines , Geneva: World Health Organisation
World Health Organisation, 2011. World report on disability, Geneva: World Health Organisation
- There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright (c) 2015 Abiola Olaleye, Olorunfemi Ogundele, Samson Deji, Oluseye Ajayi, Omolara Olaleye, Titilope Adeyanju
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
© Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development