Changing the attitudes of high school students towards intellectual disabilities: the contribution of a social coexistence programme
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Vasileiadis, I., Koutras, S. and Stagiopoulos, P. (2021) ‘Changing the attitudes of high school students towards intellectual disabilities: the contribution of a social coexistence programme’, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 21(1), pp. 49–62. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.12498.
AbstractStudents’ attitudes towards peers with intellectual disabilities are mostly negative, and negative attitudes appear more among secondary education students than any other age group. Social coexistence programmes are intervention programmes implemented by school psychologists to manage and change negative attitudes and enforce social interaction with students with disabilities. The research sample consisted of 193 public high school students in Greece who were given the Chedoke–McMaster Attitudes Toward Children with Handicaps (CATCH) Scale. The study aimed to explore whether there is a change in the attitudes of high school students towards peers with intellectual disabilities after participation in a social coexistence programme. The findings showed that students who participated in the programme had more positive attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities after the completion of the programme. The above findings confirm the research on the possibility of changing attitudes of secondary school students towards peers with disabilities and reinforce the need for the systematic development of social coexistence programmes for the entire student population. Future research should focus on the benefits of students with disabilities from their participation in social coexistence programmes.