Cross-national study of communal attitudes toward individuals with intellectual disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon vs. Ghana

Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Hala Elhoweris, Alex Nester Jiya, Nlem Anne Paule Ngoh, William Nketsia, Emmanuel Opoku Kumi, Eric Lawer Torgbenu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background An intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by a deficit in the functional, cognitive, and adaptive skills required for independent living. Due to the low cognitive capabilities of individuals with IDs, they have become victims of marginalization, exclusion, and denial of their fundamental rights to basic necessities in societies around the world. While efforts are being made to improve service provision to and acceptance of individuals with disabilities, the extent of communal acceptance and recognition of these individuals as equal members of society remains underexplored in sub-Saharan African countries such as Cameroon and Ghana. Objective As attitudes toward individuals with IDs are pivotal in shaping national policies, this cross-national study examined communal attitudes toward persons with IDs in Cameroon and Ghana. Method The Community Living Attitude Scale for Intellectual Disabilities (CLAS-ID) was used to collect data from a total of 741 university students in the two countries. The validity of the scale was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis and principal component analysis. The association between the background variables and attitudes was examined using t-tests, analysis of variance, linear regression, and two-way factor analysis. Results The results showed the validity of the CLAS-ID as a valid tool for measuring communal attitudes toward individuals with IDs in sub-Saharan Africa. The participants appeared ambivalent about attitude towards individuals with ID and other findings showed no association between attitudes and variables such as gender, relation, and contact with individuals with IDs. Conclusion We discuss the need for innovative approaches aimed at changing attitudes toward individuals with IDs in sub-Saharan Africa as well as other study implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0257482
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number9 September
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Cross-national study of communal attitudes toward individuals with intellectual disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon vs. Ghana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this