Interactions between peers with and without severe handicaps: Dynamics of teacher intervention

D. A. Cole, L. H. Meyer, T. Vandercook, R. J. McQuarter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The impact of teachers' verbal interventions upon the dyadic social interactions between 40 elementary school children with severe mental retardation and their regular-education peers was investigated. All interactions occurred in the context of a structured program designed to facilitate social interactions. Half of the dyads were further instructed in specific cooperative play behavior. Students' and teachers' behaviors were coded. Results showed that the intervention initially positively affected various social play behavior; however, the effects diminished or reversed themselves as the intervention continued. The possibility was discussed that early teacher intervention may improve interactions between peers with and without severe handicaps but should be withdrawn over time, allowing sutdents to resolve interpersonal difficulties on their own.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-169
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Mental Deficiency
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


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