This study compared the effects of different intervention approaches designed to promote peer-related social competence of young children with disabilities. Preschool-age children with disabilities who were enrolled in classes in Tennessee and Minnesota participated in four intervention conditions (environmental arrangements, child specific, peer mediated, and comprehensive) and a control (no intervention) condition. A performance-based assessment of social competence, which consisted of observational, teacher rating, and peer rating measures, was collected before and after the interventions and again the following school year. Analyses revealed that the peer-mediated condition had the greatest and most sustained effect on children's participation in social interaction and on the quality of interaction, with the child-specific condition also having a strong effect. The environmental arrangements condition had the strongest effect on peer ratings. These findings indicate that there are effective intervention approaches available for children who have needs related to social competence and that different types of interventions may be useful for addressing different goals (e.g., social skills or social acceptance) of individual children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
2. Research reported here was supported by Grant No. G008730527 from the U.S. Department of Education to Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota. Preparation of this article was supported by Grant No. H024K960001 from the U.S. Department of Education to the University of North Carolina and Grant No. H024560010 from the U.S. Department of Education to the University of Minnesota. The opinions presented here are those of the authors only, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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