Dimitrova-Radojičić, D. (2022). The high school students attitudes towards peers with blindness, International Journal of
Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education (IJCRSEE), 10(3), 109-115.
Worldwide inclusive education practices have started an intensive development in recent years
(Alnahdi, 2020). Moreover, in our country full inclusive education will start from the school year 2022/23.
Namely, according to the Macedonian education policy all students with disabilities must be included in
regular schools. There will not be any more special schools, only Research centers. In North Macedonia
schools are compulsory, publicly funded, and free of charge to everyone from primary to higher education
(from 5 till 18 years old).
Although inclusive education for children with disabilities is now widely accepted, it is still challenged
by negative peer attitudes (Godeau et al., 2010). But, many studies have shown that when children with
typically development spend time and are educated with children with disabilities, they have more positive
attitudes towards them (Çiçek-Gümüş and Öncel, 2020). Also, when students have a positive attitude
toward their friends with disabilities, it can help their inclusion, but a negative attitude might limit inclusive
education (Ketovuori et al., 2010).
Despite what has been discovered from cross-sectional research concerning low peer acceptance
of students with disabilities in inclusive education, there is still a lack of evidence about students’ attitudes
toward students with blindness. Most researches have examined attitudes towards disability in general,
rather than attitudes toward a specic type of disabilities. However, no study has been conducted to
measure the attitudes of Macedonian high school students towards their peers with blindness. Therefore,
the goal of this study is to analyze their attitudes and to determine whether gender, school grade, and
interaction with a person with blindness have a signicant effect on these attitudes.
Materials and Methods
The study’s sample contained 218 high school students ranging between the ages of 15 to 18.
54,1% (118) female and 45,9% (100) male, which were randomly selected from seven North Macedonian
high schools. The research was approved by the principals of these high schools.
The CATCH scale was used to examine high school students’ attitudes towards peers with blindness.
The High School Students Attitudes towards Peers with Blindness
Daniela Dimitrova-Radojičić1*
1Institute of Special education and rehabilitation, Faculty of Philosophy, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje,
North Macedonia, e-mail: daniela@fzf.ukim.edu.mk
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of high school pupils toward peers with blindness.
Using the CATCH-scale (Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes towards Children with Handicaps), 218 high school students’ attitudes
were assessed. High school students generally had a positive attitude towards students with blindness. The total scores on
the CATCH- scale was a little higher for female students, but with no statistically signicant difference (p>.05). Generally, the
implications of this research suggest that regular schools must implement coexistence programs that will lead to even better
attitude in inclusive settings.
Keywords: attitude, peers with blindness, high school students, inclusive education, regular school.
Original scientic paper
Received: October, 12.2022.
Revised: November, 28.2022.
Accepted: December, 04.2022.
© 2022 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
*Corresponding author: daniela@fzf.ukim.edu.mk
Dimitrova-Radojičić, D. (2022). The high school students attitudes towards peers with blindness, International Journal of
Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education (IJCRSEE), 10(3), 109-115.
This scale is divided into three subscales: a) an affective subscale containing emotional remarks about
student with disabilities (e.g. ‘I would be afraid of a disabled child’) b) a behavioral subscale providing
examples of what students would do to help a student with disabilities (e.g. ‘In class I wouldn’t sit next to
a disabled child’), and nally, c) a cognitive subscale comprising verbal statements of belief concerning
children with disabilities (e.g. ‘Disabled children can make new friends’) (King et al., 1989; Bossaert
and Petry, 2013). It has 36 items in total, 12 in each component, with an equal amount of positively
and negatively phrased statements (De Laat, Freriksen and Vervloed, 2013). The items are randomly
organized, with positive and negative statements alternating. A 5-point Likert scale is used to rate the
CATCH-scale, with values ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). Items with negative
wording were scored in reverse. The points range from 0 to 40 since the nal scores are calculated by
adding together all the individual scores, dividing the total by the number of items, and multiplying by 10.
According to Rosenbaum et al. (1986), “a higher score means a more positive attitude” (p. 521).
CATCH uses a general term (e.g. ‘a disabled child’) as the attitude object. Unlike other scales, this scale
does not differentiate between attitudes toward different types of disabilities. For this study, the word “child
with disability” was changed to “student with blindness” because teens do not want to be classied as a
“child”; moreover, in the questionnaire was specied that they should consider peers their age. In addition,
demographic information of participants, as well as their ‘disability knowledge’, was collected.
All students lled out the CATCH scale independently and anonymously. They were given careful
instructions about how to complete the questionnaire.
Table 1 provides an overview of the sample’s demographic characteristics. High school students
were also asked to rate their general knowledge about peers with blindness - min 1 (absolute no knowledge),
and max 5 (complete knowledge). From the results, it’s obvious that they have partial knowledge about
students with blindness (M=3.12; SD=1.062). On the next question about how they got that knowledge: 39
(17,9%) of them answered from personal experience or contact with a person with blindness; 129 (59,2%)
from reading; 22 (10,1%) school and 28 (12,8%) mention others.
Table 1
Demographic characteristics of students
All responses to items on the CATCH scale were classied into three categories: disagree, neutral,
and agree. Strongly agree, as well as strongly disagree, were included in agree and disagree categories
respectively. The results of these 36 questions are shown in the next tables divided in 3 subscales
(Affective subscale, Behavioral subscale and Cognitive subscale).