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ERIC Number: EJ897039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1622
Improving Attitudes towards Children with Disabilities in a School Context: A Cluster Randomized Intervention Study
Godeau, Emmanuelle; Vignes, Celine; Sentenac, Mariane; Ehlinger, Virginie; Navarro, Felix; Grandjean, Helene; Arnaud, Catherine
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, v52 n10 pe236-e242 Oct 2010
Aim: Although inclusive education of disabled children is now an accepted practice, it is often challenged by negative peer attitudes. We undertook an interventional study aimed at improving students' attitudes towards their disabled peers. Method: The participants were students from the 7th grade of twelve paired schools (1509 students from 62 classes; age 12-13y), randomly allocated to an intervention group (205 males, 285 females) or a control group (132 males, 165 females). The intervention consisted of a mandatory comprehensive educational project on disability. The Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes Towards Children with Handicaps Scale (CATCH) was used to assess children's attitudes before (T0) and after (T1) intervention. The hierarchical structure of the data was taken into account by adjusting standard deviations and using linear multilevel models. Results: Seven hundred and eighty-four students had at least one score on the three domains (cognitive, affective, behavioural) of the CATCH at T0 and T1. The final scores were higher than baseline scores (total scores, intervention group: baseline score 25.6 (SD=5.4), final score 26.8 (5.9), p less than 0.001; Control group: baseline 25.2 (5.4), final 26.0 (5.7), p less than 0.009) with no significant difference between the intervention and control groups. Individual score changes over time were associated with baseline score (p less than 0.001 for total and all sub-scores). Lower improvement in attitudes was found in students from schools with special units for their peers with cognitive impairment for total (p=0.013), affective (p less than 0.001), and behavioural (p=0.001) scores, while higher improvement existed for the cognitive domain (p=0.029). Interpretation: Although we found no effect of our intervention, we found an improvement in attitudes in the intervention and control groups that could be a result of the nature of the scales and questionnaires the students had to complete before the intervention.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A