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Factors affecting peer acceptance of children with disabilities in regular schools

Robinson, MJ 2004 , 'Factors affecting peer acceptance of children with disabilities in regular schools', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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One of the major changes in education in recent decades has been the shift away from segregated school settings, to including children with disabilities in regular school settings. This process, variously known as mainstreaming, integration or inclusion, has been evident in the United States, Britain and Australia. This review addresses some of the social aspects of inclusion, notably peer acceptance of these children in regular settings and the factors that may contribute to the likelihood of acceptance. The major impetus for inclusion was the idea that children with disabilities would benefit socially from regular school settings. However, a large body of research definitively claims that children with disabilities, who are educated in regular settings, are less accepted by their non-disabled peers. Furthermore, numerous studies have revealed that certain factors appear to determine peer acceptance of children with disabilities: for example, individual characteristics of the child, peer perceptions, teacher perceptions attitude or style, and classroom environment. There has been no research to date that has
considered the degree to which each factor contributes to peer acceptance. Nor has there been an attempt to relate theories of interpersonal attraction, social exchange and social identity to an understanding of peer acceptance for children with disabilities. In conclusion, future research ought to focus on the factor(s) that make the greatest contribution to peer acceptance for these children, and consider how theories may assist in understanding why children with disabilities are not well accepted by peers. In doing so, it is more likely that any practical interventions for these children will be appropriate and successful.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Robinson, MJ
Keywords: School integration, Children with disabilities, Mainstreaming in education, Inclusive education
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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