Classroom peer effects on adaptive behavior development of students with intellectual disabilities
SourceJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 76, (2021), article 101327
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID) exhibit low levels of adaptive behaviors (i.e., conceptual, social, and practical skills). In typical development such competences are learned in part from peers at school. Less is known about such influence from classmates in students with ID. We investigated classroom-level peer effects in 1125 students with ID (69% boys), mean age 11.30 years (SD = 3.75), who attended special needs schools. School staff members reported on students' adaptive behaviors at the beginning and end of one school year. Multilevel analyses showed a classroom peer context effect for conceptual skills, controlling for students' earlier skills, age, and gender. This indicated that students' individual conceptual skills increased more, when their classmates in special needs classrooms had greater conceptual skills. No such classroom peer effect was found for social and practical competences. Implications for supporting children and adolescents with ID are discussed.
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