Self-concept of the physically disabled in inclusive secondary schools.
Airat, Sulaiman Afolasade.
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This study assessed and described the self-concept of adolescents with physically disabilities in inclusive secondary schools, in Lagos state, Nigeria. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed to generate information and to answer the critical questions posed for this study. The choice of methodological triangulation was based on the complex nature of self-concept and the philosophical perception of "self", especially as it relates to the Nigerian cultural society. The instruments used to collect data, were the Self-Concept Scale (SCS), which measured the respondents' self-concept from the perspective of others' judgement of them and the Student Problem Inventory (SPI), which measured the respondents' self-concept from the perspective of their own judgements of themselves. Academic Achievement (ACA) obtained from the students academic records was used to determine the relationship between academic achievement and self-concept. Semi-Structured Interviews and Observations were used to obtain complementary data, and to further assess the elements of the self-concept, which were not assessed on SCS and SPI. The purpose of interview was also to allow the physically disabled to tell their stories which expressed the development of their self-concept overtime. Results of the study revealed that the physically disabled description of their self-concept is low or negative. It was found that many factors influenced their negative self-concept, which includes the attitudes of the society towards the disabled, their socio-economic status, their schooling condition and above all the way in which they internalised these actions and reactions from their environment. Results also revealed no gender differences in self-concept. Statistically significant relationship was however found between academic achievement and the self-concept. A statistically significant relationship was also found between respondents' personal problems and their academic achievement. Respondents with positive perception of school had high self-concept and those with negative perception of school had low or negative self-concept. It was suggested that researchers should create more interest in the study of physically disabled students, particularly those in inclusive secondary schools and more concern should be shown to the investigation of other factors that could affect the behaviour of this group of disabled. It was also recommended that the Lagos state government should become more concerned and serious about the education of the physically disabled in Lagos state. It is apparent that with proper policy decisions, the disabled students' condition could improve and their self-concept enhanced. This would result to positive adjustment and consequently fully functioning individuals that are ready to contribute positively to nation building.