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Open Access Research article

Psychosocial environment for the integrated education opportunities of the disabled in Lithuania

Laimute Samsoniene1, Algirdas Juozulynas2, Gene Surkiene3, Konstancija Jankauskiene4* and Aloyza Lukšiene2

Author Affiliations

1 Health and Sport Center, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

3 Institute of Public Health, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

4 Department of Physiology, Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

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BMC Public Health 2006, 6:305  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-305

Published: 18 December 2006

Abstract

Background

The policy of the diminution of the social isolation of the disabled is the main objective of the strategy of the EU new policy concerning the disabled. Lithuanian society faces this objective as well. For this reason, this study aiming at providing the theoretical basis for and predicting the possible psycho-social environment in an integrated education system, as well as at the evaluation of the reasons for the formation of a positive approach to the disabled, is especially relevant, since it creates the prerequisites for the optimisation of the process of the integration of disabled schoolchildren into the general system of education.

Method

The sample of the study consisted of 2471 children from the same schools: not integrated (1958), integrated (126) and special schools (382). Empirical methods: questionnaire poll, comparative analysis. The statistical analysis was carried out using SAS.

Results

Our study showed that the majority of schoolchildren without disabilities and disabled schoolchildren have positive intentions for interpersonal interactions (>82%) and positive emotions (>69%) independently of the discrepant character of interpersonal contacts, different conditions of education and family life, and despite of low level of knowledge.

Conclusion

The results of the study confirmed positive intentions for interpersonal interaction between disabled schoolchildren and schoolchildren without disabilities, as well as a positive character of emotions, and disprove the unsound myth of the opponents of the social integration of the disabled stating that disabled children in comprehensive schools would undoubtedly experience offence from their peers without disabilities.