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    Children's attitudes toward their peers with Down Syndrome in schools in rural Ireland: an exploratory study

    Gannon, Steven and McGilloway, Sinéad (2009) Children's attitudes toward their peers with Down Syndrome in schools in rural Ireland: an exploratory study. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 24 (4). pp. 455-463. ISSN 0885-6257

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    Increasingly, children with Down Syndrome are attending mainstream schools, but evidence suggests that these children are more prone to peer rejection and other problems when compared with their non‐disabled counterparts. However, relatively little is known about children's attitudes toward their peers with moderate to serious learning disabilities, including Down Syndrome. This study assessed the attitudes of non‐disabled primary school children (n = 118) in mainstream education toward their peers with Down Syndrome. A secondary aim was to assess whether exposure to audiovisual material promoting inclusion had any immediate effects on overall attitudes. A cross‐sectional, questionnaire‐based survey was administered in four rural‐based schools. The results showed that female participants over 10 were the most sociable. Overall attitudes toward inclusion were consistently and statistically significantly more negative than those toward sociability. Other factors, such as contact with peers with Down Syndrome, were not related to attitudes. Neither was there any change in overall attitudes following exposure to the promotional material. Further work is needed to identify factors underpinning the attitudes of non‐disabled children to their peers with Down Syndrome and how best to promote inclusion in mainstream schools.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Down Syndrome; social inclusion; attitudes; children;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 9289
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Sinéad McGilloway
    Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 17:03
    Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Special Needs Education
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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