A study of the relationship between the self-concept and educational aspirations of disabled persons
Mwathi, Beatrice Muthoni
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This was a study of the relationship between the self-concept and educational aspirations of disabled persons. The purpose of the study was to find out whether or not the self-concept of disabled persons is correlated with their level of educational aspirations. The sample was drawn from special secondary schools in Kenya catering for the blind, the deaf and the physically disabled persons. Stratified random sampling was used to select a sample of 120 subjects; comprising of the three disability types mentioned above. The sample consisted of 35 blind persons, 40 deaf persons and 45 physically disabled persons. Out of the total sample, 64 were boys while 56 were girls. Two instruments were used to collect the data. A modified Semantic Differential Scale (SDS) was used to measure the self-concept, while a questionnaire was used to collect data on the level of educational aspirations and other personal information on the subject's social-economic and academic backgrounds. Results of the study revealed that there is a significant positive correlation between the self-concept and educational aspirations and of disabled persons. A spearman rank correlation coefficient of 0.62 was obtained in the relationship between self-concept and educational aspirations of disabled persons in general. Correlation coefficients of 0.74, 0.52 and 0.64 were also obtained for separate categories of disabled persons, namely the blind, the deaf, and the physically disabled persons respectively. Significant differences were also found in both the self-concept and educational aspirations across gender and disability type. The results further indicate the self-concept of disabled persons to be negative, and their educational aspirations to be low. It was concluded that in order to raise the educational aspirations of disabled persons, there was need to work at improving their self-concept, by all those concerned including parents and teachers.