Attitudes of Students towards Peers with Disability in an Inclusive School in Nigeria

Abiola Olaleye, Olorunfemi Ogundele, Samson Deji, Oluseye Ajayi, Omolara Olaleye, Titilope Adeyanju


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.

doi: 10.5463/dcid.v23i3.136


CATCH scale; attitudes; disability; peers

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