Factors that contribute to the development of positive peer relationships between middle-school students with and without disabilities are investigated. Eight typically developing, seventh-grade boys participate in semi-structured interviews to discern their perspectives of the personal benefits or challenges associated with having social relationships with classmates who have disabilities. Data coding reveal five themes that relate to the formation of positive peer relationships: (a) perceived similarity in interests and ability, (b) the role of the adolescent without disabilities in the relationship, (c) amount of time spent together, (d) peer reactions towards students with disabilities, and (e) adult behavior towards students with disabilities. A theory of congruence and mutuality in peer relationships emerges from the data analysis to explain middle school relationships between students with and without disabilities.
- Contact theory
- Peer relationships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health