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Pre-adolescent children and their friendship intentions towards peers with physical impairment

By Yuk Kwan Clare Cheng


Social inclusion of children with disabilities is considered to be an important aspect of inclusive education. Previous research mostly approached this issue by either examining the attitudes of typically developing children towards disabilities or the friendship quality and status of children with disabilities. By adopting a qualitative research design, the present study is an attempt to draw from these two lines of research to develop a conceptual framework for understanding pre-adolescent children’s friendship intentions towards their peers with physical impairment. The research is also a response to the paucity of local studies in this area. The data are analysed in three domains: Conception of friendship, Attitudes towards people with physical impairment and Factors influencing friendship. Four theoretical constructs, Physical Attribute, Social Attribute, Empathetic Attribute and Cognitive Attribute, are finally developed to explain the relationship between friendship conception and attitude of acceptance. Based on the theoretical constructs, the peer experience of two children with physical impairment, one being a success story and one less satisfactory, is described to illustrate the limiting and facilitating factors for their social inclusion. Recommendations for local inclusive education and suggestions for future research are provided at the end of this project

Topics: inclusive education, disabilities, friendship intentions, pre-adolescence
Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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